Raleigh, NC --
After being down by a pair of goals in the first period, the Boston Bruins fought back to win, 4-3 in OT, in front of 18,665 in Raleigh's RBC Center. Boston captain Zdeno Chara
scored the game-winner at 1:49 of overtime and alternate captain Glen Murray scored two goals and added an assist to pace the visiting Black & Gold. Boston goalie Tim Thomas
had 34 saves and held on for his 20th victory of the season.
"It doesn't have to be this hard," said a relieved Boston head coach Dave Lewis. "But the good news is that we needed a win and we got the win."
The Bruins were down by two early thanks to a pair of goals scored by Carolina forward Erik Cole. Cole, on a breakaway, cut across Boston starter Thomas' goal crease and found an opening between his pads to put the struggling Black & Gold behind the eight ball, 1-0, at 3:36.
Cole scored again, in the midst of a huge scrum in front of the Boston goal, when he conveniently found the puck on his stick and easily flipped it past a scrambling and supine Thomas to put the home team up 2-0 at 18:26.
Boston defenseman Bobby Allen was the victim of a questionable hit late in the period and was helped from the ice.
The second period was one of Boston's best periods of the season, as the Bruins scored two goals and knotted the hockey game, 2-2, with just 20-minutes to go.
Glen Murray started the action early in the second stanza when he scored his 25th of the year at just the 30-second mark of the second period, on the power play, with help from P.J. Axelsson and Zdeno Chara
Brad Boyes got into the action with less than a minute to play when he, leaving the penalty box after serving a too many men on the ice penalty, streaked into the Carolina zone with a pass from Marc Savard
, and beat Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward top shelf.
"It was a great play (by Savard), his awareness out there is unbelievable," said Boyes, who had toiled through a prolonged offensive slump. "For me to play alongside him is exciting.
"I was coming out (of the box) and he gave it to me and if that one hadn't gone in I don't know what I would have done."
To boot, the B's goalie, Thomas, had 26 saves through two periods and Allen returned from injury to play in the period.
The third period was just as exciting.
Murray scored his 26th of the season when he took a rebound off a Chara shot and snapped it past Ward to put the B's up, 3-2 at 6:38 of the third session. But with the two-man advantage Rod Brind'Amour scored his 15th of the season to tie the game, 3-3, at 16:48 and send the game to the extra session.
No doubt tired of the Bruins five game slide, Chara took a wicked shot in overtime, beat the Carolina goalie, and sent the Black & Gold to their charter flight on a high with a 4-3 overtime victory at 1:49 of the sudden death period.
"I thought the guys battled, battled and battled -- right to the end," said Lewis. "Absolutely a combined team effort.
"We were emotional. We were passionate. We blocked shots. There were some great saves by Timmy and we scored some timely goals. And we found a way to win a hockey game."
The Bruins will head for a tilt with the Washington Capitals on Tuesday evening after heading home after the game this evening.