The Boston Bruins helped their playoff hopes and crushed those of the Carolina Hurricanes as they defeated the team from Tobacco Road on Tuesday night, 5-2. The visitors scored just 23 seconds into the game and were able to snuff out multiple comeback attempts by the home team.
It was a good game for ex-Canes as Dennis Seidenberg had an assist on the first goal, and Mark Recchi had a goal and an assist. Recchi's goal was the game winner.
Jamie McBain assisted on Carolina's first goal giving the defenseman his first ever NHL point in his debut. He earned the assist with a hard shot from the point on the powerplay where the highly-touted prospect will see considerable time in the future.
Manny Legace took the loss very hard in the dressing room and placed all the blame on himself. He said that he was "awful" and while there might have been a couple of goals he would love to have back, the truth was that he was under siege most of the game and there were multiple breakdowns in his end. He made 32 saves on 37 Boston shots.
Patrice Bergeron got the scoring started when he tipped in a blast from Dennis Seidenberg just 23 seconds into the game. The Bruins had just played the night before, but the goal gave the team the energy they needed and they went on to dominate the period by out-shooting the Canes, 18-7.
The Canes were called for three consecutive penalties in the period and had to kill over a minute of a 5-on-3 advantage, but the penalty killers and Legace did very well to keep the score 1-0.
The second period was a better one for the home team, but Johnny Boychuk made the score, 2-0 on a breakaway. The Canes finally dented the scoreboard when Erik Cole scored a powerplay tally when he knocked in a rebound off a shot from the point by rookie, Jamie McBain.
Carolina started the third period on the powerplay but could get nothing going. Mark Recchi jumped out of the box when the penalty expired and attacked with a 2-on-1 break. He would shoot and score himself to make the score, 3-1 just 45 clicks into the third.
But the Canes would come back one more time.
Erik Cole scored his second goal of the game, this time on a rebound from a Brandon Sutter shot, and the home team had some life.
But Michael Ryder intercepted a Brian Pothier pass and beat Legace about midway through the final period to put the game away. David Krejci scored an insurance goal for good measure making the score 5-2, and several fans headed for the exits.
The loss puts the Hurricanes 10 points behind the eighth place Bruins and just four points better than the 15th place Maple Leafs. After a red hot stretch, they now find themselves right back into contention for one of the top picks in this coming draft.
Things do not get any easier as the Washington Capitals visit on Thursday night.
- McBain had a good debut as his shot helped to create the first goal and he did nicely to keep the puck in the zone on more than one occasion during various powerplays. Not bad for a kid who got off the plane just a couple of hours earlier. He got stuck trying to defend the two-on-one break when Recchi jumped out of the box and he played the pass. Of course, "The Wrecking Ball" beat Legace with the shot. He finished with 19:42 of ice time, had one shot on goal, one hit, and one blocked shot.
- The team was credited with 34 hits led by Erik Cole with five. Cole also chipped in with three shots on goal to go along with his two goals for the night.
- Tuomo Ruutu had a team high five shots on goal. Jussi Jokinen was next with four.
- Coach Maurice mixed the lines after the listless first period and moved Jokinen back to the Staal/Whitney line. The move did not slow down Cole at all as he played one of his best games of the year. The top line seemed to get more chances as well, but could not break through.
- The Bruins blocked 18 shots compared to 10 for the Canes.
- Carolina lost 61% of the game's faceoffs. Eric Staal took the most draws but fared the worst as he won 7 of 21 for 33%.