Goaltenders Tuukka Rask and Justin Peters turned in identical,
stellar five-game stretches until their most recent outings.
They will likely square off Monday night when Peters’ Carolina
Hurricanes try to hand Rask’s Boston Bruins a fourth straight road
Both went 4-0-1 with a 1.16 goals-against average in their
previous five games before efforts that weren’t as strong this
Rask’s 27 saves weren’t enough Friday as he matched a season
high in goals allowed with all four in a 4-2 loss at Ottawa.
“I was pretty bad out there today,” Rask said. “Every once in a
blue moon as a goalie you get one of those games where there’s a
soccer net behind you and you don’t know what you’re doing.”
Boston (12-6-1) blew a third-period lead in a loss for the third
time but didn’t think it was all Rask’s fault. The Bruins were
outshot 18-10 over the final 20 minutes.
“We have to make it easier for him and that’s on us,” defenseman
Dennis Seidenberg said.
Carolina (8-8-4) was also doomed by a poor final period
Saturday, conceding both goals in the third of a 4-2 defeat at St.
Louis. Peters stopped 28 of 31 shots for his first regulation loss
since Nov. 2.
“He’s been playing great for us,” coach Kirk Muller said. “We’ve
been on a nice little roll and he’s had a great six or seven games
put together right now.”
There is seemingly more pressure on Peters since the Hurricanes
are averaging 1.90 goals for one of the NHL’s worst marks. They
have scored more than twice just once in their past 11 games.
Boston averages 2.74 goals.
Carolina picked up nine points on a five-game homestand
comprised of one-goal games before Saturday. The Hurricanes don’t
seem too concerned and are eager to return to PNC Arena.
“We’ll have to rebound and get back to work (Sunday) and be
ready for the game on Monday,” said center Eric Staal, who has a
team-high 11 points and has scored in consecutive games after a
nine-game goal drought.
Nathan Gerbe ended his seven-game goal drought Saturday although
Alexander Semin extended his to 10 games. Semin was hit with a hard
check by Alex Pietrangelo in the first period, later left the
contest with what was announced as an upper-body injury and did not
The Bruins started 2013-14 winning their first four road games
before losing the last three. They held a 22-13 advantage in shots
through two periods Friday before the dismal third.
“We didn’t stick to our game plan, we stopped playing the way we
did in the first that made us successful and that’s what happens,”
Seidenberg said. “They seemed to get stronger the longer the game
went on and we didn’t respond.”
One big advantage for the Bruins should be on the penalty kill.
They have killed off opponents’ last 27 power plays and are at 86.7
percent for the season. Carolina’s power play is in a 1-for-17
slump and at 13.2 percent overall, including 10.6 at home.
It’s unclear if Boston defenseman Adam McQuaid will miss a
fourth straight game with a lower-body injury.
The Bruins won two of three meetings last season after losing
all four the previous season.