The Bruins dictated the pace early, jumping to a two-goal lead and eventually outlasting a Hurricanes comeback to win at PNC Arena, 5-3. Jeff Skinner scored in his fourth straight game for Carolina, and Eric Staal and Alexander Semin each had two points in the loss.
Carolina fell to 2-3 on the season, allowing a late goal in falling to Boston at PNC Arena. Here's a closer look at last night's 5-3 loss.
1. As Carolina's special teams go, so goes the Hurricanes. Monday was another example of subpar special teams costing the team points. The Bruins scored two power play goals — one was Tyler Seguin's empty-netter —and a shorthanded marker to Carolina's zero, making the team 0-2 when they lose that battle, 2-0 when they win it. The "all the eggs in one basket" tactic coach Kirk Muller has implemented on his first power play unit looks brilliant when it works, but on a night like Monday — when the Bruins were able to use Zdeno Chara and their top kill unit to neutralize the Hurricanes — it seems shortsighted.
2. Carolina clearly missed Justin Faulk, who missed the game with an upper-body injury. Joni Pitkanen and Jamie McBain each picked up the slack, playing 29:13 and 25:48, respectively, to log big minutes for the second straight game. Joe Corvo played less than eight minutes, just the third time he's played less than 10 minutes in his 647 career regular season games. The last time was Nov. 30, 2009, when Corvo opened the scoring for the Canes vs. Washington in the game's first five minutes, but was then cut by a skate blade right after the goal, playing just 2:42 that night and missing the next two months with the injury. Prior to that, Corvo's other such outing was all the way back on Dec. 13, 2003. He played just 6:10 that night for the Kings, and he was benched for the night after being on the ice for Eric Nickulas' game-winning goal in the first period of St. Louis' 2-1 win.
3. "From there we have to find a way to get a point out of it and get it to overtime." Those were the words of captain Eric Staal, and they spoke a lot of the team's mentality in the final minutes of the game. The Canes looked like they were playing for the guaranteed one point in the second half of the third period, and in the end their lack of aggression cost them when David Krejci notched the game-winner with less than two minutes left.
Number To Know
24 — Penalty minutes for Tim Gleason through five games, after he picked up five more for fighting Bruins tree trunk Milan Lucic. Despite his worthy reputation as a tough player who is willing to fight, Gleason has never registered 100 PIMs in an NHL season and had averaged just a shade under one penalty minute per game during his NHL career coming into this shortened campaign. In other news, the readers at HockeyFights.com have given Lucic the edge in the fight. Um, judge for yourself.
Alexander Semin — Semin continues to impress just five games into his Hurricanes career. He registered two assists — including a brilliant steal on Chris Kelly in the offensive zone that led to him feeding Eric Staal for the goal that tied the game at 3 — and even had the move of the night when he faked out Chara to create a scoring chance. He was on the ice for all three Carolina goals and finished the night plus-3.
Jussi Jokinen — Jokinen continues to struggle as Carolina's third-line center. He is still without a point this season and Monday was his third game in five in which he didn't even register a shot on goal. He was also just four of 12 in the faceoff circle vs. the Bruins, the one part of his game that had been noticeably good in the season's first two weeks. Jokinen hasn't been alone in lack of scoring — five of Carolina's current bottom six forwards are without a point — but Muller had hoped using him on the third line would spark more scoring and balance out his team. Instead, the opposite has happened.