Special teams key as Bruins eliminate Hurricanes; Pastrnak plays in Game 5

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So far, it is indeed looking like “Elimination Wednesday.” The Bruins rank as the latest team to advance to the Second Round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs after knocking out the Hurricanes in Game 5. The Bruins won Game 5 by a score of 2-1 to win the series 4-1, leaving the Hurricanes with a sad end to a solid season.

[NBC 2020 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

Special teams makes difference as Bruins eliminate Hurricanes in Game 5; Pastrnak makes impact

If this is a sign that the Bruins’ power play will be a factor as it’s been so often during recent seasons, then the B’s are going to look a lot like the team that easily won the 2020 Presidents’ Trophy.

Actually, you could say similar things about David Pastrnak. You’d think he hadn’t missed any time considering how Pastrnak played for the Bruins against the Hurricanes in Game 5.

While Petr Mrazek thwarted some great Pastrnak attempts, including on a breakaway, Pastrnak still looked dangerous. That including registering two primary assists on key power-play goals for the Bruins.

No doubt, special teams represented a big difference-maker. The Bruins connected on their first two power plays of Game 5, including Patrice Bergeron‘s sneaky goal with mere seconds remaining in the second period. In that case, Bergeron and the Bruins made Jordan Martinook and the Hurricanes pay for a bad boarding hit that could have justified much more than a two-minute minor.

The Bruins made those power-play opportunities count, while the Hurricanes couldn’t connect on theirs (0-for-3) in Game 5.


Call it Elimination Wednesday?

Lightning need OT to bounce Blue Jackets

Avalanche end Coyotes’ season with blowout

Golden Knights eliminated Blackhawks (also on Wednesday, technically, in some time zones)


Painful end to Hurricanes’ season

Much like the knocked-out Blue Jackets, the Hurricanes put forth credible efforts despite being bounced by the Bruins in five games. That said, there must be some crushing thoughts of “what could have been.”

What if James Reimer didn’t get burned on that pivotal Jake DeBrusk goal in Game 4? Could the Hurricanes have accomplished more with David Pastrnak on the shelf? Rod Brind’Amour might still be a little irritated by some officiating bad breaks earlier in the First Round.

But the Hurricanes nonetheless see a bit of a step back after that breakthrough, jerky 2019-20 season. From here, they’ll face plenty of questions about how to get to that next level, including whether Justin Williams will retire.

No. 4 Boston Bruins vs. No. 5 Carolina Hurricanes (BOS wins series 4-1)

Wednesday, Aug. 12: Bruins 4, Hurricanes 3 (2OT) (recap)
Thursday, Aug. 13: Hurricanes 3, Bruins 2 (recap)
Saturday, Aug. 15: Bruins 3, Hurricanes 1 (recap)
Monday, Aug. 17: Bruins 4, Hurricanes 3 (recap)
Wednesday, Aug. 19: Bruins 2, Hurricanes 1

MORE:
• Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round schedule

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.