Carolina's four-game win streak has quickly become two losses in a row. Boston jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, easily disposing of the Hurricanes in a matinee at TD Banknorth Garden, 5-1.
Bruins forward David Krejci opened the scoring at 7:55 of the first, converting on the power play with Scott Waker in the box. The young Czech added two more assists on Michael Ryder's back-to-back second-period goals that pushed the lead to 5-0.
Goalie Cam Ward wasn't there to see Ryder's tallies — he was pulled with less than seven minutes left in the second after allowing his third goal on 12 shots, a shot by defenseman Mark Stuart. Michael Leighton didn't fare much better, giving up Ryder's two goals on 20 shots.
But neither Ward or Leighton could be faulted for the score. Ward made two big saves early to keep Carolina's hopes alive before Krejci converted, but the continued onslaught by the more active — and punishing — Bruins proved too much. Justin Williams grew tired of the hits and fought Matt Hunwick after the rookie blueliner took a run at the Carolina winger in the third period.
Williams later scored the lone goal, deflecting a shot past Bruins' All-Star netminder Tim Thomas to break up his shutout. Williams now has four points in the last four games.
The loss is the second straight in regulation, the first time Carolina has gone pointless in consecutive games under new coach Paul Maurice.
- The revamped forward lines, with Rod Brind'Amour centering the third line and Matt Cullen on the second, led to more evenly distributed ice time. Surely the game being out of reach and the fourth line getting more shifts also contributed, but no forward reached 17 minutes. The Cullen-Williams-Ray Whitney line generated the best chances and the only goal.
- Sergei Samsonov was a team-worst minus-3
- Brind'Amour took only 10 faceoffs (he was 5-5), while Eric Staal took twice as many and also won 50 percent of his draws (10-10).
- Tim Gleason did not play — Frank Kaberle took his place — and his injury is being called a recurrence of his December ankle injury. According to Canes Now, it's not as serious and he could be back soon.
- Carolina's 15 penalty minutes — bolstered by Williams' five for fighting — were the most since they got 12 in the box Dec. 18 vs. Florida. That had been the last time they had double-digit PIMs as a team.
- The Bruins now lead the season series 3-0, all regulation wins. The series concludes Feb. 17 at the RBC Center.
- Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Washington all lost in regulation, but the Panthers trounced the Thrashers 8-4. Carolina now sits in a tie for seventh with Buffalo for the last two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference with 47 points, while Florida is one behind them. The Sabres and Panthers each have a game in hand on the Hurricanes. New Jersey, who is sixth with 49 points, played late in Los Angeles Saturday night.
- The Canes conclude their three-game road trip Tuesday in Ottawa (7:30 p.m., FS Carolinas) before returning home and facing Toronto Thursday.