The ailing Carolina Hurricanes visited North Station on Monday night and this would be a prime opportunity for Boston to regain some of their confidence. Wearing their all black alternates, the Bruins took to the ice welcoming back Alternate captain Chris Kelly, who was making his return from a broken tibia.
The first half of the opening frame did not start well for the B's, as Carolina dominated play and out shot the Bruins heavily. Despite being outplayed, at the 10:00 minute mark, the Bruins somehow saw themselves up 2-0.
Rich Peverley would get the scoring started when he gathered his own shot for a nice wrap-around goal, beating Justin Peters just 3:51 in. It would take the Bruins just over 4 minutes to tally their second goal. Brad Marchand would score his first of two on the night as he cleaned up some garbage in front of Peters. The goal would mark the end of Peter's night, as he gave up 2 goals on 4 shots.
Brad Marchand would net his second at 17:20. Jaromir Jagr and Dennis Seidenberg would each get an assist on the play, the second of the evening for each player. Despite the Bruins starting to control play in the second half of the period, the Bruins went into the room out shot 18-9. They were opportunistic, worked hard, won some good battles, and were rewarded with a 3-0 advantage.
The B's picked up in the second where they had left off, coming out with effort and intensity. A nice pinch along the boards by Andrew Ference would be rewarded when a Dennis Seidenberg wrister went off his back side and in at 3:57. This was Seidenberg's first 3 point game since he was playing for Carolina, 4 years and 1 day prior.
Jordan Caron would score his first of the season on a back hander at 10:29, again a clean up goal that was a product of grit and effort. This period was a solid 20 effort from the black and gold. There was a good pace and Tuukka continued his stellar play, making a few key saves. The 'canes got their share of chances, each team registering 12 shots in the period. Carolina still held a significant advantage in shots on the night, entering the 3rd they were up 30-21.
You could tell when the third started that Bruins were feeling a little too comfortable. They continued the theme of being out shot, but it was the lack of crisp play or a sense of urgency that was worrisome. Luckily, Tuukka continued to stand on his head.
The Bruins should have gotten a wake up call when a weird play where the puck went straight up in the air and landed on Rask was almost a goal. A review confirmed the call on the ice, no goal. Then, 22 seconds later, the 'canes would continue to battle and get on the board when Patrick Dwyer found an opening five hole. Just :45 later, Drayson Bowman would cash in for the second goal of the night, beating Tuukka Rask. The play continued back and forth until at 16:46 Nathan Horton would put the Bruins back up by four goals.
Jaromir Jagr and Brad Marchand looked like they were creating some chemistry, and Jagr tried on three different shifts to set up "the little ball of hate" for the hat trick. There was no doubt it was Tuukka Rask who was the first star, but it was nice to see the Bruins finally open up a six-pack on someone, even if it was the lowly Hurricanes. The negative was that they allowed 42 shots on the night, beating the previous high this season faced by Rask. The Bruins power-play went 0-2, again looking improved at times with Jagr on the ice, and sometimes looking pretty bad.
Next up for the Bruins will be a clash with the point needy New Jersey Devils on Wednesday night. The Devils are currently 2 points out of a playoff spot, and will be looking to get back in at the expense of the B's. Expect another tight game, low scoring, with a lot of stellar defensive zone play. Puck drops at 7:30.
Until next time, Let's Go Black and Gold!!