Bruins-Hurricanes Preview

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

loss.

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

weekend.

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

return.

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.