TORONTO -- It took an additional day plus overtime for the Carolina Hurricanes and the Boston Bruins to decide Game 1 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series,
The teams had been scheduled to start at 8 p.m. on Tuesday night in Toronto, one of the NHL's two hubs but the game was postponed to 11 a.m. on Wednesday after the opening game in Toronto between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Columbus Blue Jackets went to five overtime periods.
When the Canes and Bruins finally took the ice, there was more bonus hockey as the teams were locked 3-3 after regulation and heading to double overtime. It didn't take long for Boston to score the winner in the second extra period. Patrice Bergeron got the winning goal just 1:13 into the period.
"We talked about trying to end this before the fifth overtime," Bergeron said.
Joel Edmundson got the Canes going early, scoring at 13:02 of the first period but the Bruins tied it up in just over four minutes.
After Boston took a 2-1 lead in the second period, Brock McGinn got the Hurricanes level with an unassisted goal just 21 seconds later.
The Canes again responded to a deficit in the third period. David Krejci put the Bruins ahead less than a minute into the period but the Canes' Haydn Fleury answered with 9:49 left.
The game had plenty of theater from Carolina's surprise scratches to a controversial goal and video review.
Much has changed since these teams met in the 2019 Eastern Conference final, but Boston continued its dominance more than a year after sweeping Carolina. The Bruins showed quick recovery from losing all three of their round-robin seeding games and handed the Hurricanes their first loss since hockey returned.
"As a group, we didn't love our effort. and we didn't do some of the things we're known for and what makes us a great team," Carolina captain Jordan Staal said. "I thought there was some shifts here and there. They played a good game. We have to be better, obviously, if we want to beat the best."
Fleury would've been out of the lineup if not for the surprise scratch of Sami Vatanen, who along with winger Justin Williams was a game-time decision according to coach Rod Brind'Amour.
"We adjusted," Brind'Amour said. "Hopefully they'll be able to go (in Game 2 Thursday).
After Boston's fearsome first line of Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak registered its first goal in the team's fourth game of the NHL restart late in the first period, Charlie Coyle gave the Bruins the lead 4:38 into the second. Goaltender Petr Mrazek was livid, and Brind'Amour challenged for what the Hurricanes thought was a missed hand pass by Boston's Brett Ritchie.
Officials and the NHL's situation room ruled that Mrazek trying to cover the puck negated the hand pass. On the ice, no whistle was blown for Mrazek freezing the play, so Coyle poking it out and scoring was allowed, and Carolina was penalized for the failed challenge.
"That call was - I mean to get the penalty - I still can't figure it out," Brind'Amour said.
Mrazek stopped 36 of the 40 shots he faced. In good news for the Canes, defender Dougie Hamilton played for the first time since breaking his left leg in January.
Game 2 is Thursday night.
As for the earlier marathon, Tampa Bay eventually won 3-2 when Brayden Point scored at 10:27 during the fifth overtime.