Raleigh, N.C. -- While it certainly wasn't as troubling as their previous meeting, a 5-1 loss at home on Nov. 24th, Saturday night the Boston Bruins fell to the Carolina Hurricanes, 5-2, at the RBC Center.
The loss, which drops the Bruins to 12-10-2 and 5th in the Northeast Division, snapped the Bruins three-game winning streak, and was Boston's second loss of the campaign to the defending Stanley Cup champs.
Although the play was fairly even through much of the first two periods, prophetically, the Bruins fell behind early as Eric Staal beat Boston goalie Tim Thomas
But true to recent form, Boston bounced back quickly when Shean Donovan took a pass from Wayne Primeau and shot the puck high past Carolina goalie Cam Ward.
Brad Stuart then took a loose puck and scored his second goal of the year at 15:14 to send the Bruins into the first break up 2-1.
Although the Bruins played a strong period, it was all Hurricanes on the scoreboard in the second, as Carolina scored two goals the take the lead 3-2.
First, Eric Cole scored his 11th goal of the season, unassisted at 5:56. Then, with the Bruins on a power play, Justin Williams scored his 11th goal of the year at 18:56 off an assist by the ageless Rod Brind'Amour.
Carolina came out of the locker room after the second intermission surging, and Staal scored his 16th of the year at 6:10, to put the Bruins back on their heels for the rest of the contest.
The Hurricanes scored again, icing the game at 11:24, when Ray Whitney took a Rod Brind'Amour feed and beat Thomas again at 11:25.
Thomas, who finished with 25 saves, appeared in his 18th straight game for Boston, and had his own personal three-game winning streak stopped and now stands at 10-6-2 on the season.
"They just took advantage," said Stuart after the game. "That's the difference between a great team and a good team, it's taking advantage of your opportunities.
"And that's what they did."
There was, however, no panic apparent in Boston.
"I actually felt we played a pretty good game ourselves," said Bruins head coach Dave Lewis. "We had a couple of…funny little breakdowns and they capitalized."
"That's why they won the Stanley Cup last year.They are a fast team and they're a big team and there are certain points in the game that are so important and they capitalized on them again.
"It's a good lesson for us -- it really was," he said.
Boston next plays Monday night when they travel to Montreal to face the Canadiens in the Bell Centre.
The Black and Gold return home to the TD Banknorth Garden on Thursday, December 7th when they square off against the Toronto Maple Leafs at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets are available for all home games online by clicking here
, at the TD Banknorth Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, or by phone at 617.624.BEAR.