Eastern Conference First Round, Game 4 -- Hurricanes lead 2-1
Time: 12:30 p.m. ET
Venue: TD Garden, Boston, MA
Where to watch: ESPN
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Bruins -130, Hurricanes +110
BetMGM: Bruins -130, Hurricanes +105
Caesars: Bruins -135, Hurricanes +115
Ben Burns has reeled off a strong 24-13-0 run over the last month in the NHL. The last week of the NHL season is here before we get cracking to playoff coverage. The postseason is here, the matchups are set, and you can count on our coverage for all the playoff matchups starting this weekend. Who's going to win the Cup? You need to be tuned in here to find out all the expert analysis. Catch Ben's plays available right now at the Shop Picks page, where you can find all of the Best Bets from our champion sports handicappers.
Hurricanes - Bruins preview and analysis
When in doubt, the Boston Bruins were not going to go quietly into the night. Getting home-ice advantage back and getting a solid win for rookie goalie Jeremy Swayman definitely helped as expected to get on the board in the first-round series.
Now the onus turns to the Carolina Hurricanes to try and respond with the chance to end this series in Carolina for Game 5. Safe to say, they're going to need to play better than what they did on Friday in order to make that a reality.
Game 4 is in Boston on Sunday.
Swayman made 25 saves in his first playoff start after Linus Ullmark started Games 1 and 2. The goaltending wasn't necessarily the problem in the first two games, but Swayman got the offensive help necessary to win this game. Brad Marchand had a three-point game, and David Pastrnak also scored and had an assist.
"You do everything you can to win. … It was a great team effort," Swayman said. "[My first playoff start] was special. … It's a great experience every time you walk into a full building here, and playoffs are a whole different level. It was great to get the win in front of our hometown tonight."
The Hurricanes jumped out to a 1-0 lead early, but they couldn't sustain the offensive pressure from Boston. Pyotr Kotchetkov made 24 saves in his first start, but the Carolina defense couldn't stop the big names from coming through on this night.
"[Kochetkov] was fine. You can't blame him on any of the goals," Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "They were all back-door tap-ins and great players ripping good shots in pretty good areas. The top guys have to be better. It's simple."
Boston had to absolutely be better on the penalty kill, and they were in a big way.
"The penalty kill was good for us tonight, obviously," Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. "It has been the whole series. Our power play caught up to it tonight, so that helps. Hopefully, we're a little cleaner out of the gate on Sunday, but playing with the lead, we've talked about it enough. It makes it different for both teams, and it certainly helped us tonight."
Vincent Trocheck opened the scoring in the first and Charlie Coyle responded late. That started a run of four unanswered goals that continued into the middle frame.
"We know what the issue is," Brind'Amour said. "We had a decent first period. Then the power play gave up a shorty, and they got some life out of it. If you give up too many looks to their top guys, they're going to make you pay. That's what happened."
But again, this is what we expected. Boston needed a win, and were going to play better considering it was at home after two duds on the road.
"We knew they were going to be desperate. In the playoffs, you have to be," defenseman Jaccob Slavin said. "Our 5-on-5 game was strong. We're getting opportunities. We know how to play and play solid that way. We've just got to stay out of the box. When we get a power play, we've got to make sure that's better, and execute on it."
"I think it felt good to know that we can come back in these situations and we can respond the way we have in the past," Marchand said. "I think it's the most I've felt engaged. It had kind of been a little while since I've felt that into a game. … That's what we need to play with every day moving forward."
Antti Raanta was good enough to back up, but not dress. I'd expect after a game off, he'd be an option, or at least we wonder if Freddie Andersen will be an option. The Hurricanes should still be an overwhelming favorite to come back and win this game, and I believe they will. Hurricanes win 3-2
Check back later for trends.
Andrei Svechnikov -- Sebastian Aho -- Seth Jarvis
Max Domi -- Vincent Trocheck -- Teuvo Teravainen
Nino Niederreiter -- Derek Stepan -- Jesper Fast
Jordan Martinook -- Jesperi Kotkaniemi -- Martin Necas
Ian Cole -- Tony DeAngelo
Brady Skjei -- Brett Pesce
Brendan Smith -- Ethan Bear
Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- Jake DeBrusk
Taylor Hall -- Erik Haula -- David Pastrnak
Trent Frederic -- Charlie Coyle -- Craig Smith
Nick Foligno -- Tomas Nosek -- Curtis Lazar
Hampus Lindholm -- Charlie McAvoy
Matt Grzelcyk -- Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort -- Connor Clifton
Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert hockey picks today. And if you enjoyed this Carolina Hurricanes - Boston Bruins prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily NHL projections and previews.