Bruins strike last to beat Hurricanes, 5-3

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Bruins strike last to beat Hurricanes, 5-3

RALEIGH, NC It was only fitting that on the day it was announced Dougie Hamilton will never have to go back to junior hockey, he helped make the play to win the game.

During a mad scramble in front of the Carolina net a puck bounced out to Hamilton at the right wing circle, but he slid a cross-ice pass to a wide open David Krejci for the game-winning strike in a 5-3 victory.

The goal came with less than two minutes in the third period proving the 19-year-old has a flair for the dramatic.

The Bruins had built up a 3-1 lead after two periods where theyd dictated the pace and played some magnificent special teams, but that dropped off a little bit at the end of the second period.

Brad Marchand opened the scoring with a shorthanded snipe from the right face-off circle after a nifty cross-ice pass from Zdeno Chara, and Chara built it to a two-goal lead with the Bruins second power play goal of the season.

The Hurricanes fought back and halved the Bs lead on a give-and-go play between Eric Staal and Jamie McBain that ended with a goal for the Carolina defenseman. Nathan Horton scored what appeared to be a nice insurance goal on a beautiful rush to the net through three Carolina defenders including a complete dusting off Tim Gleason when he attempted to stick-check him hear the blue line that finished with a roofed wrist shot over Cam Ward.

A few long shifts seemed to take the starch out of the Bruins, and turnovers by both the fourth line and the third line at the end of the period led to goals for Jeff Skinner and Eric Staal to get the Hurricanes back into the contest. That opened things up for a competitive third period in a seesaw game between the Bruins and Canes, who always seem to be embroiled in tight battles.

Tyler Seguin added the empty netter for his first goal of the season.

GOLD STAR: Zdeno Chara finished with a goal and two assists along with four shots on net in 26:02 of ice time, and helped create each of the first two goals for the Bruins that gave them a commanding early lead. Chara showed his vision by finding Brad Marchand with a cross-ice pass for the shorthanded goal and then feathered a quick wrist shot from the point through a Milan Lucic screen for a power play strike in the first period. After the early offense Chara hunkered down on defense and was only on the ice for one of Carolinas three goals, and neither of the breakdowns right at the end of the second period.

BLACK EYE: Bruins fourth line continues their bipolar season with another tough night. One shot on net for the trio and a rough Shawn Thornton turnover led to the first of Carolinas two goals at the end of the second period that tied up the game headed into the final 20 minutes. The criticism needs to be qualified, however, because its quite a lot to ask Thornton, Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell to shut down a line with Jordan Staal and Jeff Skinner on it. That might not have been the right time for the energy line, and compounding it with a goal allowed by the third line on the next shift wasnt any better.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins faltered late in the second period allowing a pair of goals in the final three minutes that tied the game for Carolina, but they turned it back on in the third period. The Bruins outshot the Hurricanes by a 17-8 margin in the final 20 minutes and kept throwing pucks at the net until a Dougie Hamilton-to-David Krejci connection in the final two minutes put Boston ahead for good. The Bs simply werent going to be denied and continue to show both mental and physical strength early in this 48-game shortened season.

HONORABLE MENTION: David Krejci finished with the game-winning goal, two points, a plus-1 in 18:13 of ice time and won eight of 12 face-offs against some pretty good centers suiting up for Carolina. It wasnt always pretty for Krejci during the 60 minutes of seesaw hockey against the Hurricanes, but he helped set up Charas power play goal early in the game and then was ready for Hamiltons slick pass in the final minutes before firing off the game-winner. The Bruins are starting to playmakers on the ice offensively, and it becomes very obvious in crunch time.

BY THE NUMBERS: 23-for-23 the perfect Bruins record on the penalty kill this season, which also kicked in a shorthanded goal on Monday night.

QUOTE TO NOTE: We wanted to have a good start and so far, so good. We also lost a big one in overtime in New York We wanted to get our first win on the road too, so it was a pretty big two points for us. We came out strong in the third period and really stuck with it. David Krejci talking about the teams mindset after taking nine of a possible 10 points in the first five games this season.

Rask stops 35 shots in Bruins' 2-1 win over Sabres

Rask stops 35 shots in Bruins' 2-1 win over Sabres

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Boston goalie Tuuka Rask has been hard to beat this season and was at his best against Buffalo again.

"You start thinking, `how are we going to get one by this guy,'" Sabres coach Dan Bylsma wondered aloud Saturday.

Rask nearly shut out the Sabres for the second time in a month, keeping them off the scoresheet for 2 1/2 periods and making 17 of his career-high 35 saves in the third to help the Bruins hold on for a 2-1 win.

"Every team likes to have these kind of goaltenders and a lot of teams do," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "We're just fortunate enough that he's been one of those guys that, whenever you slip a little bit, or lose a little bit of momentum, or you're having a slow start, or a tough night, those guys step up and help you win some hockey games."

Over his last 11 starts, beginning with his 4-0 shutout over Buffalo on Nov. 7, Rask is 7-3-1 with a 1.36 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage.

"I feel good," Rask said. "I'm seeing the puck well. Guys are doing a great job keeping them on the outside and clearing the rebounds for the most part, so that helps out."

David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron scored to give Boston a 2-0 lead and the Bruins improved to 3-0-1 in their last four.

"We're getting better as a team, we're getting points and climbing up the standings," said Krejci, who has 10 points in his last 12 games. "Hopefully we can keep it up."

Evander Kane scored his first goal of the season for Buffalo. Robin Lehner returned after missing one game with a hip injury and made 32 saves.

The Sabres combined for nine goals in their previous two wins but the NHL's lowest-scoring team reverted to form from the first 21 games, when star center Jack Eichel was out of the lineup with a high-ankle sprain.

"First two periods, we had a tough time generating some offensive chances," Sabres defenseman Cody Franson said. "They kind of just stayed on top."

Krejci got the Bruins on the scoreboard with 5:50 left in the first when he deflected Brandon Carlo's slap shot from the point off the right post and into the net.

The Sabres appeared to tie the game late in the second period but replays determined Brian Gionta kicked the puck into the net.

Bergeron made it 2-0 at 7:44 of the third when he knocked in the rebound of David Pastrnak's missed shot. Bergeron initially hit the puck with his forearm on the left edge of the crease and skated around the net to chase down the puck and flip a backhand past Lehner.

The Sabres answered two minutes later, scoring on Rask for the first time in 109:12 this season. Sam Reinhart's feed off the rear wall set up Kane for a wrist shot from the slot that bounced in off Krejci. Reinhart has five points in his last four games.

NOTES: Bruins F Matt Beleskey was escorted to the dressing room in the final minute of the first period with a lower-body injury and did not return. Julien said Beleskey will be evaluated when the team returns to Boston. ... Sabres D Josh Gorges did not play after injuring his foot blocking a shot in Thursday's win over the New York Rangers. With Dmitry Kulikov (lower back) and Zach Bogosian (MCL sprain) also out, the Sabres were down three of their top four defenseman and recalled 19-year-old Brendan Guhle from the minors to make his NHL debut. Guhle hustled back to thwart a breakaway by Krejci late in the third period. ... F Anton Blidh became the seventh Bruin to make his NHL debut this season after being recalled from the minors on Friday. ... The Bruins scratched F Jimmy Hayes. D Zdeno Chara, the Bruins' captain, missed his sixth straight game with a lower-body injury. ... Buffalo had just three shots on goal in the first period.

UP NEXT

Bruins: Host Florida on Monday.

Sabres: At Washington on Monday.