By Jeremy LemoineRaleigh, NC -
Carolina defenseman Aaron Ward scored two goals, including the game-winner, to power the Hurricanes to a 4-3 win over the Bruins on Wednesday night at the RBC Center. In their first game back from the Olympic break, the B's got goals from Marco Sturm, David Tanabe, and Sergei Samsonov, while Tim Thomas
made 25 saves in net. The game also marked Carolina's third win against Boston this season, with all three coming by 4-3 scores.
"Obviously, we gave up a goal late (which made a difference), but I thought we had some quality chances," said Head Coach Mike Sullivan. "We got better as the game went on. It was certainly an even game most of the night and it could have gone either way. We had our chances to score and we weren't able to finish."
Transition has been a big part of the "new" NHL and it paid off for the Bruins on the first goal as Hal Gill forced a turnover in the neutral zone and sent Brad Boyes and Sturm in on Carolina goaltender Cam Ward. Boyes picked up the Gill pass and head manned the puck to Sturm, who roofed it to put the B's up 1-0 mid-way through the first session.
Just over two minutes later, Eric Staal fed Oleg Tverdovsky in front who put it past Tim Thomas
to knot the score at 1-1.
The Bruins scored twice in the second period just 23 seconds apart to take a 3-2 lead at 11:53 of the second period.
Tanabe scored first on a pass from P.J. Axelsson on an odd man rush to tie the game. Moments later, Samsonov scored on a second effort backhander to put the Bruins back up on top 3-2. Wayne Primeau made a heads up play by keeping the puck in the zone and passed it to Glen Murray, who dished it off to Samsonov for his 18th tally of the season.
"We play a simple game and we hunt the puck down," said Tanabe. "The new NHL awards aggressor and I think we play an aggressive style. We just need to keep it going."
Ray Whitney tied it at three apiece for the 'Canes on the power play. Cory Stillman dropped the puck between his legs and Whitney picked up the puck and deposited through Thomas' legs for his 10th of the season.
Aaron Ward scored his second of the night, the eventual game winner, on a shot to the short side to give the Hurricanes a 4-3 lead at 15:36 of the third period.
Ward's first goal of the night gave Carolina a 2-1 lead five minutes into the second period on a blast from just inside the blueline, his fifth of the year. Notes
Bruins Olympic gold medallist, P.J. Axelsson, left the game in the second period due to a leg injury. Axelsson did not return to the game and his status is uncertain.
The Bruins will travel home to play host to the Atlanta Thrashers, 7:00 p.m. Thursday night at the TD Banknorth Garden.