Now that they're back to their winning ways, the Boston Bruins know they need to limit mistakes if they want to remain among the league's top teams.
The Eastern Conference-leading Bruins look for their third win in three weeks over the Carolina Hurricanes when they meet on Saturday at TD Banknorth Garden.
The Bruins (30-7-4) opened a five-game homestand on New Year's Day by winning their 10th straight overall and 14th in a row at home, 4-2 over Pittsburgh. After being limited to a total of two goals in losses to Buffalo and Minnesota, the Bruins rediscovered their scoring touch with a 6-4 win over Ottawa on Thursday.
"This was really important and to get over the hump was the toughest thing," said Manny Fernandez, who made 26 saves to rebound from his first home loss in 12 games. "If it's going to be like this for a while, we have to work twice as hard at limiting our mistakes."
The Bruins have made few mistakes against Carolina (21-16-5) this season, winning 4-2 on Dec. 20 in Boston, and by the same score a week later in North Carolina.
Savard, the Bruins' leader with 38 assists and 52 points, has a goal and two assists for a team-leading three points versus the Hurricanes this season. Boston rookie Blake Wheeler scored twice in the most recent victory.
Carolina now will look to bounce back after having its season-high four-game winning streak snapped with a 4-2 loss to Florida on Thursday. Anton Babchuk and former Bruin Sergei Samsonov scored, but Cam Ward allowed two goals early in the third period before the Panthers added an empty-netter in the final minute.
"We kept it a close game for a while, but then we gave up the power-play goal and it built up momentum for them," said All-Star Eric Staal, Carolina's second-leading scorer with 32 points, who had an assist. "We tried to battle back, but it wasn't quite enough."
Ward stopped 27 shots, but dropped to 5-2-0 with a 2.30 goals-against average while starting Carolina's last seven games.
"He's been good and solid all the way straight through," Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice said. "We didn't give him a chance to be the difference in the game."
But Ward also has been in the net for the last three losses to the Bruins dating back to last season, compiling a 2.63 GAA.
Boston's Tim Thomas made 18 saves on Dec. 27, and could start on Saturday. He's been victorious in five of his last six at home, and has a 1.92 GAA in winning two straight against the Hurricanes.
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