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NHL - US Sports: Hurricanes prove flexibility

Coach Rob Brind'Amour praised the flexibility of the Carolina Hurricanes after they took a commanding 2-0 lead over the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference First Round.

The Hurricanes, 13/2 to win the Stanley Cup in 2021/22, beat the Bruins 5-2 in game two of the best-of-seven series on Wednesday in a physical game which saw them lose netminder Antti Raanta in the first period.

Injury blow for Carolina

Raanta, already deputising for injured Frederik Andersen, was hit by Bruins forward David Pastrnak and was forced to leave the ice after just 7.47.

22-year-old rookie Pyotr Kochetkov came in and made 30 saves to record the win. Raanta, 32, previously made 35 saves in a 5-1 game one victory on Monday which was his first NHL playoff start. Andersen hasn't played since 16th April due to a lower-body injury.

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Coach coy on Raanta

Post-game Brind'Amour did not have an update on Raanta, but said he was in good spirits. Carolina has won five straight against Boston this season, outscoring them 26-4.

The Hurricanes entered the playoffs as first seeds from the Metropolitan Division (54-20-8) whilst the Bruins finished fourth in the Atlantic Division (61-26-5).

Brind'Amour was hired as the Hurricanes coach in 2018 and has led them to the playoffs in each of the past four seasons after missing out nine seasons straight. 

This season they finished with the second-highest point total (116) in the Eastern Conference and the third-highest in the NHL.

Brind'Amour said to the media: "Like I've said all year, whatever way the game goes, I think we're capable of playing it. Whether it's a physical game, we have guys that can do that, or a skilled game, we're pretty capable of doing that too. Everyone is playing their behind off and so far for us, it's been good."

Game three takes place on Friday in Boston.

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