BOSTON, Mass. (WNCN) — Rookie Pyotr Kochetkov will get his first NHL playoff start when the Carolina Hurricanes tangle with Boston on Friday night.
Kochetkov was the winning goalie in Game 2 when he came in for the injured Antti Raanta, stopping 30 of the 32 shots he faced.
“He’s fine to back up,” said Brind’Amour about Raanta when asked about his decision to start Kochetkov. “He could have probably played but he’s a little nicked up, so, I think we give him another day and then reassess unless he convinces me otherwise when I get back in there.”
The Hurricanes will try to take a commanding 3-0 lead as the best of seven series shifts to the TD Garden Center in Boston. For that to happen, the Canes will need a big game from a netminder playing in just his fourth career NHL game.
“He’s (Kochetkov) confident and as a player, you like to see that out of your goalie,” said defenseman Brady Skjei.
“He’s a great goalie, we know exactly what we get from him,” said Hurricanes forward Nino Niederreiter. “He’s definitely very confident and we all believe in him.”
The Hurricanes have dominated Boston all season long, winning all five games while outscoring the Bruins 26 to 4. Still, Carolina feels they can get even better. A fast start in Game 3 would be nice.
“I think the biggest thing for us is coming out on time,” Niederreiter admitted. “I feel like Boston has done a great job of coming out of the gate and we kind of weathered the storm the first two games and kind of found our game after that.
“I think it will be crucial tonight to come out on the right foot.”
The puck drop for Game 3 is set for 7 p.m. in Boston.