Hurricanes beat Bruins 3-2 for 1st win of season
The Carolina Hurricanes couldn’t afford yet another
season-opening loss. Some timely scoring from two role players
helped deliver a much-needed victory.
Anthony Stewart and Jiri Tlusty scored in the third period to
help Carolina beat the Boston Bruins 3-2 on Wednesday night for
their first victory.
Joni Pitkanen scored on the power play and Cam Ward made 26
saves for the Hurricanes, who never trailed and avoided matching
their worst start since the lockout.
”We’re talking about the fourth game of the year, but we did
treat it like a must-win game,” Ward said. ”It’s important that
we get a win and feel good about ourselves and know what it’s like
to win hockey games. We can build from a game like tonight. There’s
a lot of great positives that you can take away from it.”
Especially for Tlusty and Stewart, left wings on the Hurricanes’
third and fourth lines.
”Teams are going to key on those two (top) offensive lines that
we have,” coach Paul Maurice said. ”The big goal for me is
Stewart’s goal … confidence-wise for that line and for me wanting
to put them on the ice in a tight game. They’ve had some offense
there, and if we can get comfortable with four lines that can play,
we’re going to be able to play in these kinds of games.”
Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand scored and Tim Thomas stopped 31
shots for the Bruins, who have lost two straight and three of four.
Each loss has been decided by one goal.
”We’re not that far off,” Thomas said. ”The difference
between us having the results we want and the way it happened
tonight, for example, isn’t that far off.”
The reigning Stanley Cup champions’ power-play unit remained
punchless. Boston came up empty on five chances with the man
advantage to drop to 1 for 18 for the season.
”We can create some more chances and more scoring
opportunities,” captain Zdeno Chara said. ”We just have to do the
little things right, but most of all, we have to outwork the four
guys on the other side.”
The Bruins – who were held scoreless through two periods and
were in danger of being shut out in consecutive games for the first
time since 2009 – twice cut Carolina’s lead to one in the
First, Seguin – who replaced the injured David Krejci at center
on Boston’s No. 1 line – took a nice touch pass from Nathan Horton
and whipped a shot past Ward with 15:53 left.
Tlusty followed with a goal that put Carolina up 3-1 with 6:28
left. Marchand took a feed from Patrice Bergeron in the circle and
one-timed it past Ward with 3:25 remaining.
Ward was strong after that, turning aside a blast by Milan Lucic
in the final minute to preserve the victory and help the Hurricanes
avoid equaling their 0-3-1 start in 2006.
”Our confidence was, you could say, a little bit down,”
Stewart said. ”But we kept with it.”
Pitkanen put the Hurricanes up 42 seconds into the second and
with 18 seconds left on a hooking minor to Chris Kelly. Pitkanen
yo-yoed the puck in the left circle for several seconds – long
enough that some fans were screaming for him to shoot it – before
he whipped a shot that got past Thomas. His first goal of the
season was just Carolina’s third on the power play this season.
Stewart made it 2-0 with 16:18 left, when his shot went through
traffic and past an obstructed Thomas, who said both shots were
”The first (goal) was going wide, and then it hits off a skate
– that happens when you throw it back door from there,” Thomas
said. ”If anything, we should start doing the same thing more
often. It’s going to go off the other team’s skates. I’m not sure
what it hit on the second one. It was just a confusing little
NOTES: Carolina D Tomas Kaberle assisted on Pitkanen’s goal for
his first point with the Hurricanes. He helped the Bruins win the
Cup before signing with the Hurricanes over the summer. … Tempers
flared late in the first when Carolina C Jeff Skinner was taken
down near the net by Boston D Adam McQuaid. … Tyler Hansbrough,
the Indiana Pacers forward and former North Carolina star, and
college teammate Bobby Frasor watched the game from a suite – and,
when they were shown on the scoreboard, were booed.