BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins acknowledged before Saturday night's game that they were looking for some revenge against Carolina after being eliminated by the Hurricanes with a Game 7 overtime loss last spring.
They got it -- and then some.
The Bruins dominated from the opening faceoff to the final buzzer on the way to a 7-2 victory over the 'Canes on Saturday night. Marco Sturm, Steve Begin, Derek Morris, Michael Ryder and Marc Savard all had multi-point nights and Tim Thomas made 25 saves.
Boston was also 4-for-8 on the power play after going 0-for-5 in their season-opening loss to Washington on Thursday. The Hurricanes, who lost 2-0 to Philadelphia at home on Friday, fell to 0-2-0.
"Is it revenge? Is it about this year, about winning a hockey game? It can be about a lot of different things,” coach Claude Julien said. “I don’t care how the guys think about it. I just really care about us going out there, and it’s more about how we’re going to perform tonight than anything else. Whichever way they want to motivate themselves, that’s OK with me. We just have to bounce back from a tough outing.”Thomas, who wasn't sharp against the Caps, looked much better in Game 2. He was perfect until Scott Walker -- whose OT goal eliminated Boston last spring -- scored late in the second period.
Walker played in Game 7 after being suspended for attacking then-Bruin defenseman Aaron Ward in Game 5. Ironically, the two are now teammates in Carolina.
“It’s not the playoffs,” Thomas said. “Getting knocked out of the playoffs and losing tonight for them is not the same type of feeling, but it was a measure of revenge.
"Actually, when Walker tipped in his goal, I saw that him and [Aaron] Ward were on the ice together and I was thinking to myself, ‘this is weird.’ How do you make life rough on Walker because of what he did last year when the guy that he did it to is on his team?”The Bruins wasted no time taking command. Savard scored a power-play goal 4:06 into the game, and Ryder added another at 12:38. Blake Wheeler beat Cam Ward 26 seconds later to give Boston a 3-0 lead after one period.
“You knew they would be (angry) after that loss to Washington,” said former Bruin and now Hurricanes defenseman Andrew Alberts. “They came out flying from the drop of the puck and we were on our heels. They got some goals right away and I’m not sure what their power play went for but they had a few power-play goals. Things got out of hand and they kept scoring. We couldn’t catch up.”The Bruins kept rolling, getting goals from Sturm and Wideman to make it 5-0 before the Hurricanes got their first goal in two games this season when forward Scott Walker beat Thomas at 15:21 of the second. Shawn Thornton added another goal for the Bruins before the period was over to make it 6-1.
Hurricanes forward Eric Staal got his first of the season at 2:41 of the third but the Bruins regained their five-goal cushion on Matt Hunwick's power play goal at 8:29.
Cam Ward was pulled in the second period following Boston’s fourth goal at 10:37 of the second period and replaced by Michael Leighton.
For a team that has such high hopes this season, that was just one more positive out of a night that became redemption not just for when the Hurricanes ended their Stanley Cup aspirations last season but for getting back on track this season.
“You would like your team to be able to bounce back after a showing like Thursday’s,” Julien said. “Hopefully we don’t have to put in those positions too often this year because that’s not a good sign. The fact that the guys really took pride in it, at the same time, for us it was a real good opportunity to redeem ourselves and give the fans here a better showing of what opening night should’ve been like. It should’ve been like tonight.”-- James Murphy, NHL.com Correspondent