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Game Review: Carolina 3, Boston 1

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

Carolina 0 2 1--3
Boston 0 1 0--1

BOSTON (Sat Oct 2 23:30:02 1999) -- The Boston Bruins were without two important contributors during their season opener, and it showed.

Sami Kapanen and Kent Manderville scored 80 seconds apart in the second period and Jeff Daniels added an insurance tally in the third as the Carolina Hurricanes handed the Bruins their first season-opening loss in 13 years, 3-1.

Arturs Irbe made 22 saves for Carolina, which picked up its first road win in a season opener since beating Buffalo on October 10, 1985, when they were the Hartford Whalers.

"I think you saw a big difference in us in the second and third periods from the opening period," Hurricanes captain Ron Francis said. "We played our style of hockey later on, but what was really key was not falling behind because everybody knows we don't have (Keith) Primeau. We have to work together to pick up the slack, and I think we did that."

Playing without Primeau, their leading scorer, due to a contract dispute, the Hurricanes are on a season-opening nine-game road trip while waiting for their new arena to be completed in Raleigh, North Carolina.

"Overall, it was a good game for us, not a great one," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said. "We can still play a lot better. With this being the first of nine straight on the road I think it was kind of important to sell the importance of playing well to start the road trip. And that's what this did."

Boston had the NHL's longest current unbeaten streak (9-0-3) in season openers, but played without standout goaltender Byron Dafoe and right wing Dmitri Khristich.

Dafoe, a restricted free agent, has asked the Bruins to trade him and reportedly has put his house up for sale during a contract dispute. He was the most important player on a team that finished sixth in the Eastern Conference at 39-30-13. Rob Tallas stopped 17 shots for Boston, which eliminated the Hurricanes in six games in last season's Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

Khristich led Boston last season with 29 goals, but the Bruins walked away from his contract after he was awarded $2.8 million by an arbitrator.

"I think we just turned the puck over too much tonight," Bruins coach Pat Burns said. "We just kept losing the puck, whether it was Steve Heinze or a number of other players tonight for us. It just seemed like that was the theme tonight.

"I'm not about to hit any panic buttons. We just have to make the adjustment from exhibition hockey to now."

While Boston mounted little attack against Irbe, Manderville took advantage of Dafoe's absence at 5:50 of the second period, scoring the go-ahead goal from a bad angle.

Bruins captain Ray Bourque had taken over the all-time lead in goals among defensemen 1:43 into the period with his 386th, moving ahead of Carolina's Paul Coffey, who was a healthy scratch.

"Well, it's a record for one night," Bourque said. "I'm sure Paul will have other opportunities to break that record. We'll go back and forth."

Bourque scored on the power play, taking Jason Allison's pass from the goal line and rocketing a slap shot from the top of the left faceoff circle past Irbe.

Bourque also padded his record for points in season openers with 30. Washington's Adam Oates is second among active players with 21.

Kapanen tied it 2:47 later, accepting a feed from Francis at the high slot to Tallas' right and snapping a shot inside the right goalpost.

"The first goal for us was huge," Maurice said. "Huge because I didn't like what I was seeing in the early part of that second period. We scored there and kind of changed the momentum."

Tallas looked bad on Manderville's goal. Manderville, who scored five times in 81 games last season, streaked down the right side and wristed a shot from the dot past Tallas and well inside the far post.

"Robbie did his job," Bourque said. "He turned away a lot of tough shots for us. I don't think he was the issue at all. I think the big thing for us is to be more organized, but that will come with time."

Daniels scored his first goal since October 27, 1998 with 7 1/2 minutes left. Paul Ranheim raced to a loose puck and sent a pass from below the right circle to the low slot, where Daniels poked a shot between Tallas' pads.

"I felt pretty comfortable in there tonight, but I can improve," Tallas said. "I know I will improve."

The goal cinched the Bruins' first season-opening defeat since October 9, 1986 at Calgary. They had not lost a home opener since October 7, 1993 against Buffalo.

----------------------------- Carolina             0 2 1--3 Boston               0 1 0--1 -----------------------------FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: None. Penalties: Eloranta, Bos (interference),4:06; J Daniels, Car (Obstr holding), 7:55; Kovalenko, Car (Ob holding thestick), 11:28.SECOND PERIOD -- Scoring: 1, Boston, Bourque 1 (power play) (Andreychuk,Allison), 1:42. 2, Carolina, Kapanen 1 (Francis, Battaglia), 4:30. 3,Carolina, Manderville 1 (Halko), 5:50. Penalties: Malik, Car(interference), 0:37; Wesley, Car (charging), 6:19; Bates, Bos (crosschecking), 11:18.THIRD PERIOD -- Scoring: 4, Carolina, J Daniels 1 (Ranheim,Manderville), 12:30. Penalties: Halko, Car (fighting major), 3:37; KBelanger, Bos (fighting major), 3:37.Shots on goal:--------------------------------- Carolina              8  8  4--20Boston                8  7  8--23--------------------------------- Power-play Conversions: Car - 0 of 2, Bos - 1 of 4.  Goalies: Carolina,Irbe (23 shots, 22 saves; record: 1-0-0). Boston, Tallas (20, 17; record:0-1-0).  A:16,189.  Referees: P Devorski, Watson. Linesmen: Collins,Sericolo.
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