RALEIGH, N.C. — At 11:49 of tonight’s third period, Milan Lucic banged home a power-play goal to give the Bruins a 3-2 win over the Hurricanes at the RBC Center. Tim Thomas stopped all but one shot to earn the win.
“He was really great,” said coach Claude Julien. “I think he deserves a lot of credit for the win. When we were struggling, he was keeping us in there. I realize we had some good breaks along the way in the second period. Sometimes when you’re on a roll, you get those kinds of breaks. It was important for us. When you go out there in the third period, you have to realize you’re lucky to be in that position that you can still win a hockey game. That’s what we did.”
The Bruins snapped a 1-1 third-period tie at 3:55. After Cam Ward stopped a Zdeno Chara shot, Brad Marchand drove to the net and swept in the rebound to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead.
The Hurricanes tied the game at 9:19 of the third. Jeff Skinner’s shot popped into the air in the slot, and the Bruins couldn’t clear the rebound. Tuomo Ruutu dished the puck to Chad LaRose at the far post. LaRose buried his shot to tie the score at 2-2.
The Hurricanes carried the play in the second period. Carolina controlled the puck for most of the second and had speed entering the offensive zone. But they were turned back on every occasion by Thomas, who had to pull out the acrobatics more than usual because of Carolina’s heat around the net. Through 40 minutes, Thomas had stopped 38 of 39 shots.
At the other end, because of the Bruins’ lack of puck possession, they didn’t do much against Ward. The Carolina goalie saw only nine pucks in the second. Ward made his best stop on Nathan Horton during a second-period power play when he gloved the winger’s bid from the slot.
The Bruins netted the first goal of the night. After Jussi Jokinen was sent off for tripping on the game’s first shift, the Bruins broke through on the power play. From the right point, Johnny Boychuk stepped into a slap shot and beat Ward at 2:04 of the first. Marc Savard sliced in front of Ward just as the puck arrived, creating a screen on the Carolina goalie.
The Hurricanes answered with a power-play goal of their own. With Brad Marchand in the penalty box serving a hooking infraction, the Hurricanes put heavy pressure on Thomas. Thomas stopped Joe Corvo’s initial shot from the right circle. But before Thomas could cover the puck, Eric Staal whacked it free, sending it across the crease. Jokinen, who had body position on Adam McQuaid, tapped home the puck at 18:39 to tie the game at 1-1.
11:49 3d period: Bruins 3-2
Milan Lucic, standing in the slot, buries the puck. Mark Recchi with the assist. Quick snap shot by Lucic. Way to rebound for Lucic after 40 minutes of struggling.
9:19 3d period: 2-2
Chad LaRose ties the game. Tuomo Ruutu with the dish after Jeff Skinner’s shot pops into the air. Unfortunate bounce for the Bruins.
6:09 3d period: Bruins 2-1
Cam Ward stops Nathan Horton on the two-on-one. Horton has to snap that shot off with more power.
4:24 3d period: Bruins 2-1
Johnny Boychuk launches himself into Jeff Skinner. The rookie fortunate that Boychuk didn’t get him square.
3:55 3d period: Bruins 2-1
Off the draw, Brad Marchand tucks in the rebound of a Zdeno Chara blast. Good work by Mark Recchi in the dot to win the draw.
20:00 2d period: 1-1
Bruins still with a chance to win in the third, which has been their best period all season. Tim Thomas keeping them in the game.
16:17 2d period: 1-1
Good heat by the fourth line. Blake Wheeler closes on Ryan Carter and forces the forward to send the puck into the crowd. Bruins need to change the momentum.
12:58 2d period: 1-1
Steven Kampfer pinches to throw a big hit on Chad LaRose. Hurricanes go the other way with speed and get a chance on Tim Thomas. Hurricanes flying all night.
7:46 2d period: 1-1
Tim Thomas getting zero help from his teammates. Carolina could have four goals by now.
5:28 2d period: 1-1
Cam Ward snatches Nathan Horton’s PP bid. Ward not tested enough so far.
4:17 2d period: 1-1
Good chance for Chad LaRose in front. Puck management not good for the Bruins.
3:26 2d period: 1-1
Goal changed back to Johnny Boychuk.
20:00 1st period: 1-1
Hurricanes carrying momentum into the second. Lots of traffic in front of the Boston cage. Too much heat on Tim Thomas prior to Jussi Jokinen’s goal. Bruins will start second on PK, as Thomas called for roughing at end of first.
18:39 1st period: 1-1
Jussi Jokinen pokes in the rebound after Eric Staal jams a puck free.
18:00 1st period: Bruins 1-0
Excellent play by a stickless Patrice Bergeron to get in front of Jamie McBain’s bid.
12:25 1st period: Bruins 1-0
Blake Wheeler gives Jussi Jokinen a post-whistle jab. That’s a fourth-liner for you.
7:34 1st period: Bruins 1-0
Goal now credited to Marc Savard. Video replay must have shown that Savard tipped Johnny Boychuk’s blast.
2:04 1st period: Bruins 1-0
Johnny Boychuk lines up a slapper from the point. First goal of the year for Boychuk. PPG. Good drive-by screen by Marc Savard to distract Cam Ward at the last moment.
0:00 1st period: 0-0
Andrew Ference out for the third straight game. Daniel Paille the healthy scratch.