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'CANES DOWN BOSTON IN A WILD ONE, 5-4

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Sometimes it's easy to forget Josef Vasicekis just learning to play in the NHL.

Especially when the rookie scores a key goal in the finalminutes with a veteran move to give the Carolina Hurricanes a 5-4victory over the Boston Bruins on Sunday.

Vasicek scored the go-ahead goal with 2:41 left to break a12-game streak without a point as the Hurricanes won an importantgame in the playoff race.

"He has pulled that move probably 150 times a day inpractice," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said of Vasicek'shesitation move and then wrist shot that beat John Grahame.

"What great composure for a 20-year-old at that point in thegame," Maurice added. "Instead of getting jumpy he held on to itand made a great shot."

Vasicek's eighth goal of the season and first since Jan. 18 –also against Boston – came 1:55 after Brian Rolston tied the gamefor the Bruins 3-3.

Marek Malik added an empty-net goal with 55 seconds left on alength-of-the-ice shot before Boston's Kyle McLaren closed the wildgame with goal with 10 seconds remaining.

The win moved the Hurricanes within one point of the Bruins forthe eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

"Our objective was to win this hockey game and nothing short ofthat was going to be good enough for us," Carolina captain RonFrancis said.

Carolina, which has played two fewer games than the Bruins, wonthe season series with Boston 3-1 – an important tie-breaker comeplayoff time.

Jason Allison and Bill Guerin scored in a span of 2½ minuteslate in the second period to tie it at 2-2 and the Hurricanes tooka 3-2 lead with 8:42 left as Rod Brind'Amour slid the puck betweenthe legs of Grahame.

That set up the wild final three minutes of the physical game.

"This was a playoff game for both teams," Carolina coach PaulMaurice said. "Losing one like this always hurts – they hurt for awhile."

The Bruins are 1-2 to start their six-game road trip and nowplay at Colorado, Dallas and St. Louis – three Western Conferencepowers.

"I'm surprised that so many of our guys couldn't bring theirA-game to the arena today," Boston coach Mike Keenan said. "Wejust had too many people not participating.

"They either haven't learned, or won't learn, or can't learn,or aren't good enough to learn what it takes to play at this kindof intensity level."

After a scoreless first period, Carolina defenseman Glen Wesleyintercepted the puck in his zone and broke out 2-on-1 with Willis,sliding a pass to his winger who backhanded one high over JohnGrahame 4:42 into the second.

Willis' two points gave him 31 on the season, moving him intosecond among NHL rookies.

The third-most penalized team in the NHL then gave theHurricanes a two-man advantage midway through the period whenAndrei Nazarov took a double minor for cross-checking and roughing,and seconds later Jason Allison was called for high-sticking.

Jeff O'Neill scored his 29th goal just 20 seconds into theAllison penalty as the Hurricanes took a 2-0 lead and appeared tohave the momentum. O'Neill's goal was his 13th on the power play,tying him for third in the league.

But the Hurricanes failed to score over the final 1:40 of thetwo-man advantage and the Bruins closed strong with a pair of goalsfrom the team's top scorers in the final 3:20 of the period.

Allison walked in front all alone and batted his own rebound outof the air and past Arturs Irbe for his 24th goal of the season.

Boston then tied it with 50 seconds left in the period off afaceoff as Guerin beat Irbe on the short side from the top of thecircle for his team-leading 31st goal.

NOTES:Grahame was the fifth goalie used by Boston this season.... Wesley's assist on the first Carolina goal gave him 22 careerpoints in 30 games against his former team. ... O'Neill has 23goals in his last 32 games. ... Irbe was back in net for Carolinaafter missing Friday night's game against Phoenix with a groininjury.

 1st2nd3rdTOTAL
Boston0224
Carolina0235

First Period: Scoring: None. Penalties: Gelinas, Car (interference),0:18; Allison, Bos (hooking), 7:45; Allison, Bos (roughing), 10:11; GWesley, Car (roughing), 10:11; Gelinas, Car (slashing), 15:33.

Second Period: Scoring: 1, Carolina, Willis 12 (G Wesley), 4:42. 2,Carolina, Oneill 29 (power play) (Kapanen, Francis), 11:51. 3, Boston,Allison 24 (Samsonov, Rolston), 16:40. 4, Boston, Guerin 31 (Sweeney,Thornton), 19:10. Penalties: Gill, Bos (roughing), 4:20; Francis, Car(roughing), 4:20; Nazarov, Bos (elbowing), 7:51; Tanabe, Car (roughing),7:51; Nazarov, Bos (cross checking, roughing), 11:05; Allison, Bos (highsticking), 11:30; Dimaio, Car (interference), 13:56; Guerin, Bos (crosschecking), 14:46; Ozolinsh, Car (holding), 15:33.

Third Period: Scoring: 5, Carolina, Brindamour 13 (Willis, Battaglia),11:18. 6, Boston, Rolston 11 (Axelsson, Ward), 15:24. 7, Carolina, Vasicek8 (Gelinas, Malik), 17:19. 8, Carolina, Malik 5 (empty net) (Irbe), 19:05.9, Boston, K Mclaren 4 (Guerin), 19:50. Penalties: Thornton, Bos(elbowing), 17:57; Brindamour, Car (holding), 18:35; Allison, Bos ( doubleroughing minor), 19:27; Malik, Car ( double roughing minor), 19:27.

SHOTS ON GOAL
Boston 71513--35
Carolina

6
11
8
--25

Power-play Conversions: Bos - 0 of 5, Car - 1 of 5. Goalies: Boston,Grahame (24 shots, 20 saves; record: 0-1-0). Carolina, Irbe (35, 31;record: 24-19-7). A:16,206. Referees: Ohalloran, Van Massenhoven.Linesmen: Dapuzzo, Mach.

INDIVIDUAL PLAYER STATISTICS
Boston    Carolina    
 GA+/-Shots GA+/-Shots
Allison
Axelsson
Eloranta
Gill
Girard
Guerin
Henderson
K Mclaren
Knuble
Kovalenko
Nazarov
Popovic
Rolston
Samsonov
Sweeney
Thornton
Traverse
Ward

1
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0

0
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
1
1
0
1

-1
even
even
+2
-2
-1
+1
even
even
even
even
even
even
-1
-1
+1
+1
even

4
1
2
2
2
5
0
2
1
2
0
1
6
2
0
3
0
2

Adams
Battaglia
Brindamour
Dimaio
Francis
G Wesley
Gelinas
Hatcher
Irbe
J Daniels
Kapanen
Karpa
Malik
Oneill
Ozolinsh
T Westlund
Tanabe
Vasicek
Willis
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
1
1
0
1
0
0
1
1
1
0
1
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
even
+1
+1
+1
even
-1
even
+1
--
-1
-1
-2
+2
-2
-1
-1
+1
even
+2
0
2
2
1
1
3
3
1
0
0
3
0
1
3
0
1
0
1
3
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