Opinion: Bruins' superior special teams make the difference in Game 1 win vs. Hurricanes


SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports’ Kevin Allen breaks down three players who we should be paying attention to in the NHL’s Conference Finals.

BOSTON – Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour has been in the NHL long enough to understand that debate over whether penalty calls were deserved is pointless.

“We took penalties and we need to kill them, whether they were good (calls) or not,” Brind’Amour said. “Whether there were some that were let go that we thought should have been called … that’s going to happen every night.”

Special-teams play is always important in NHL playoff series, but it was expected to be critical in the Eastern Conference final because the Bruins boast the postseason’s No. 1 power play and the Hurricanes have struggled on the penalty kill throughout the playoffs.

That reality hit the Hurricanes hard in Game 1 when the Bruins scored two power-play goals 28 seconds apart in the third period to power them to a 5-2 win in Game 1.

Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) celebrates with teammates after scoring a power-play goal during Game 1 against the Hurricanes. (Photo: Bob DeChiara, USA TODAY Sports)

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