Bruins

What Taylor Hall and the Bruins said about their scoring struggles in Game 1

"Unfortunately, we didn't do that."

Taylor Hall scored, but his Bruins teammates failed to despite having 35 shots in Game 1. Matthew J Lee/Globe staff)

The Bruins had no problem getting shots on net in Game 1 against the Carolina Hurricanes. In fact, they fired 35 shots at Hurricanes backup goalie Antti Raanta.

However, Raanta allowed just one of those 35 shots to get into the net and watched his squad put up five goals to defeat the Bruins, 5-1, and take a 1-0 series lead.

With Raanta filling in for Hurricanes starter Frederik Andersen, who’s missed the last seven games due to a lower-body injury, Boston came firing right away. It had 12 shots on net in just the first 10 minutes of the game, but nothing came of it.

The Bruins continued to control play for the first half of the game, too. They had nothing to show for it though, and the score remained 0-0 until the 16:28 mark in the second period when Hurricanes forward Seth Jarvis tipped in his teammate Jaccob Slavin’s shot to give Carolina a 1-0 lead.

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Just over two minutes later, and with a little more than a minute left in the second period, forward Nino Niederreiter’s wrist shot found the back of the net with two Hurricanes teammates screening Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark to make it 2-0.

Bruins forward Taylor Hall thought his squad played the way they wanted to up until those two late-second period goals. He admitted that the Hurricanes’ ability to successfully create difficulty in front of the net was something the Bruins weren’t able to do on Monday, and he thought it was the difference.

“That was the chatter (of playing a strong road game) on the bench and in between the first and second periods. It was a really solid road game against a team that plays really well at home. A lot of really good things,” Hall said. “It was just can we create those second chances and can we hang around the net to get some bounces our way.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t do that. Like I said, they got their crowd into it. They got a goal and they probably feel really good about their game going into Game 2. But it’s a long series. I think it’s pretty easy to pinpoint what we need to do better at in Game 2 and we’re a pretty good team at making adjustments.”

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Hall got the Bruins on the board in the third, scoring on a feed from the high slot to cut the Hurricanes’ lead to 2-1. Minutes later, Hall had a golden opportunity to tie the game up. But his shot from the slot hit the post, keeping the Bruins at a deficit.

Hall chose not to play the “what if” game. Instead, he focused on what the Bruins did well for the first half of the game, hoping that they can replicate that performance in Game 2 while capitalizing on similar chances.

“What are you going to do, right? Game’s done,” Hall said. “It would’ve been nice to see that go in but a couple inches the other way it doesn’t even hit the post. That’s the ebb and flow of a series. You try and control momentum when you can.

“I thought we controlled play in the first period, the first 35 minutes of the game. We weren’t really able to jump out to a lead. You see their crowd gets into it, they get playing and they get feeling good about it. That’s the way it goes. It’s a familiar situation to the playoffs last year. We lost Game 1 and were able to come back and rectify some of the stuff that we wanted to. That’s our goal going into Game 2.”

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The shot of the post by Hall wasn’t the final opportunity for the Bruins to tie Game 1. Halfway through the third, Boston went on the power play for the third time in the evening. Just like the first two times though, they weren’t able to convert with the man advantage. Moreover, the Bruins failed to register a single shot on their third power play, failing to control the puck multiple times in the attacking zone.

Even though the Bruins were up against the league’s best penalty-killing unit on Monday, the three failed power plays added to the Bruins’ failure in that department over the last month, where the team failed to score on 39 straight power plays at one point.

“Well, we have to [play better on the power play]. We can’t rely on our power play against the No. 1 PK, but it does have to give us some juice,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “I thought the first couple, we did get some looks. …The third one was disappointing. Our entries, when we did get in, we mishandled some pucks or didn’t execute once we got it back.

“It’s been a challenge the last month for us on the power play. Those guys have to take a little more ownership of it. Those are our top guys.

“Hopefully, they’ll be better at it on Wednesday because we do have to get some life from it. Just because they have the top PK doesn’t mean we can’t score. We’ve done it in years past and it can certainly be a weapon if we get it going.”

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With Game 1 behind them, the Bruins look ahead to Game 2, where Andersen could possibly return. No matter who is net for the Hurricanes though, the Bruins are going to have to turn those shots they got off into goals at some point. Hall shared what the Bruins can do in order to light the lamp more than once going forward in the series, which might be to steal a page from their opponent.

“I’m sure you’ve guys have probably heard this a million times, but people at the net-front with good timing so they’re not able to be tied up – free sticks around their net-front, and see if we can generate some second-chance opportunities,” Hall said. “There were pucks laying there. Their goalie made some really good first saves. I think playoff hockey is about hanging around the net and finding a way to score.

“You know honestly, just kind of like what they did on their first goal – a tip. Their second goal [was the result of] a lot of traffic, our goalie can’t really see [the puck in that instance]. For us, we always seem to outshoot teams but what can kind of get away from us is getting people to the net and making use of all those shots and creating second chances. So, that’s going to be a focus for us.”

The Bruins and Hurricanes meet again for Game 2 in Carolina on Wednesday night.

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