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

third.

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

deflected.

”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

shot.”

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.