By Jeremy LemoineRALEIGH
- The Boston Bruins fell to the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday night, losing 4-3 in overtime. Brad Boyes had a goal and two assists, and Brian Leetch had a goal and an assist, but it wasn't enough to beat the streaking Carolina Hurricanes. Overtime saw several scoring chances from both teams, but the â€˜Canes Matt Cullen scored the winner, his second goal of the night with a reaching chip shot over Boston net minder Andrew Raycroft. Despite the loss, Raycroft played well, making 29 saves on the night.
The Bruins were plagued with three penalties early in the first period to start the game. They were able to kill off the penalties though and create some scoring opportunities of their own, with Ian Moran ringing a slapper off the cross-bar at 10:50.
At 9:24, Hurricanes forward Matt Cullen raced the puck to the Bruins zone and scored with a shot that ended up rolling down Andrew Raycroft's back to put them up 1-0.
Boston quickly responded on the power play, tying the game two minutes later on a Brian Leetch blast from the point that was tipped in front by Brad Boyes. Patrice Bergeron
was credited with the assist, keeping play in the Carolina zone on the goal. The teams were locked at one after 20 minutes of play.
Boston continued to work hard in the second period, scoring two gritty goals.
During a man advantage, Sergei Samsonov tallied the first of the period, his fifth goal of the season at 5:41. Samsonov backhanded a shot past Martin Gerber after the Carolina goaltender left a rebound on a Dave Scatchard deflection in front. At 10:50, Leetch broke up ice and scored on a give-and-go with Brad Boyes for his first goal of the night to extend Boston's lead to 3-1.
The Hurricanes were able to get one back and cut the deficit to one goal, scoring on a Frantisek Kaberle one-timer after Raycroft made the initial save on Eric Staal's shot.
The third period was back and forth, exactly the type of period the National Hockey League envisioned when they adopted the new rule changes.
Carolina converted the only goal of the period when Eric Staal took the puck to the net hard. Erik Cole picked up the rebound and made good with it, tying the game at 3-3.
In overtime, the intensity from the third period carried over and the Bruins had their chances, but it was Carolina's Matt Cullen who picked up a lose puck in front and put it past Andrew Raycroft's shoulder for the winner.
After the game, Coach Mike Sullivan commented on the loss, trying to stay positive despite dropping both games on their current two-game road trip.
"I thought we had control of the hockey game tonight," said Sullivan. "We have to do a better job controlling momentum and we have to do a better job playing with a lead. Right now we're having a hard time winning and we need to be better in those areas. It's a frustrating time for us right now, but if everyone hits the panic button it just makes things worse. We need to find answers and we'll do that."
The Bruins will look to pull even in their season series against Toronto Thursday night when they play host to the Maple Leafs at the TD Banknorth Garden at 7:00 p.m.