RALEIGH, N.C. Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Hurricanes locked in a scoreless tie at the end of the first 20 minutes at the RBC Center.
1) Tim Thomas didnt have a ton of action in the first period, but he made a big time stop on Alexei Ponikarovsky at the end of the first period when it seemed he was down and out of the play. The veteran Bs goalie only had six saves, but that was by far the biggest one to keep it scoreless.
2) Speaking of Ponikarovsky, he had three of Carolinas six shots in the first period. It looked like two of them came in that final scrum at the end of the period. I guess its appropriate since tonights tilt against the Bruins is his 600th career NHL game.
3) Two shots total on two power plays in the first 10 minutes of the game simply isnt good enough for the Bruins. It was one shot and then out for a Bruins team that wasnt winning enough battles right in front of Cam Ward. Ward meanwhile has looked very good with 11 stops in the first 20 minutes.
4) Canes outhitting the Bruins by an 11-4 margin. That usually spells trouble in any game the physical Bs are involved in. They did a good job drawing a couple of penalties, but not enough assertiveness or clean execution for the Bs at this point.
5) Benoit Pouliot managed to get Eric Staal whistled off for an elbowing penalty in the opening minutes of the game, and the gangly Bs forward has to lead the team in penalties drawn this season. Some of it certainly the unorthodox way he attacks with all arms and legs on the fore-check, and some of it simply good timing on Pouliots part when it comes to getting under the skin of his opponents.