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Bruins Top Canes Again, 4-2

It was an eerily similar outcome to the previous matchup between the Bruins and Canes, with Carolina holding their own against the East's best team for the majority of the game only to allow the go-ahead goal in the third period and come out on the wrong end of a 4-2 decision.

The Canes got goals from Matt Cullen and Anton Babchuk, but the top two lines failed to score. For Boston, Marc Savard stole the puck from Rod Brind'Amour and fed Michael Ryder for the go-ahead goal in the third, and Blake Wheeler notched two second-period markers for the Bruins. Chuck Kobasew finished the scoring with an empty-netter.

The good:

  • Cam Ward was again good in net, further cementing his status as the team's No. 1 goalie.

  • Tuomo Ruutu had a game-high eight hits.

  • The team was 41-21 in the faceoff circle. All four centers won at least 61 percent of their draws.

  • The players on the bottom two lines have picked up their play, especially Chad LaRose and Patrick Eaves.

  • Babchuk's slapshot goal was an absolute blast and he looks like he's developing more confidence in the offensive end.

  • The Bruins heaped praise on the Canes, and the energy the team is playing with lately is the best it's been for a prolonged stretch this season.

The bad:

  • Brind'Amour was minus-3 and his turnover of the deciding goal was a costly error.

  • Ray Whitney went without a shot and was minus-2. When the combination of him and Brind'Amour isn't scoring, it's proven to be a liability.

  • While it's nice to compete with the Bruins — clearly the conference's best team right now — coming away with zero points in two games against them doesn't do Carolina any good in the standings.

Carolina next plays New Year's Eve, hosting division rival Atlanta at 8 p.m.