Bruins strike last to beat Hurricanes, 5-3

990289.jpg

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.

Tuesday, Feb. 21: Leafs turning green

Tuesday, Feb. 21: Leafs turning green

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while spring training is ramping up in a big way down in Florida.

*The Toronto Maple Leafs are going to wear their great, green, old school St. Pat’s sweaters around St. Patrick’s Day this season.

*Jonathan Quick is on the ice and participating in hockey activity, but isn’t quite ready to return for the Los Angeles Kings.

*This is one of the best things you’ll see today with Vladimir Tarasenko making the 11th birthday celebration for a special little girl.

*The Edmonton Oilers could potentially make a lot of moves at the NHL trade deadline, and unsurprisingly, there is quite the call for them to dump Benoit Pouliot after that bad contract they signed him to a couple of years ago.

*Lyle Richardson is predicting the biggest buyers at the 2017 NHL trade deadline and the Bruins are not among the nine teams listed.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) James Mirtle goes 1-on-1 with Toronto Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello a wide range of subjects for the Athletic up in Toronto.

*Tommy Wingels continues to fight for inclusion in hockey even as he’s gone from the San Jose Sharks to the Ottawa Senators this season.

*For something completely different: A perfect pool trick shot video will blow your mind and probably get a few pool tables ruined with people trying to recreate it.