The Boston Bruins will open the NHL postseason on the road in a best-of-seven series against the Carolina Hurricanes.
At first glance, this seems like an impossible mission after the franchise formerly known as the Hartford Whalers went 3-0 against Boston this season, outscoring them by a 16-1 margin. However, things have changed since the last time the two clubs met on Feb. 10, a 6-0 Bruins home loss.
The Hurricanes went on to win the Metropolitan Division with a 54-20-8 record, going 8-2 in their final 10 games despite losing both goaltenders Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta to injury. The Bruins finished the season strong, unable to catch Tampa Bay for third place in the Atlantic Division, but closed out on a 6-4 run and a 51-26-5 record.
Carolina is looking to avenge playoff losses to Boston in 2019 and 2020, when they won just one of nine games. Even though Carolina is the favorite, the teams are closer than the regular season series indicates. Here is a by-position breakdown of both clubs and what to expect.