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HURRICANES BRUISE BRUINS, 4-2

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes
RALEIGH (JAN. 18, 2001) -- The Carolina Hurricanes extended their unbeaten streak to nine games with a 4-2 win over the Boston Bruins at the Entertainment and Sports Arena. The two points gained from the win put Carolina just one point behind the Washington Capitals for first place in the Southeast Divison as Washington fell to the Ottawa Senators 5-4.

“We’ve been playing a pretty good solid team game,” said Carolina coach Paul Maurice. “It’s important to get goals from different people. Like Glen Wesley – a great shot set the tone. That was the best part of a really strong first period.”

The Hurricanes scored early when Wesley, who played in his 999th NHL career game, fired a slapshot from the top of the slot that beat Boston goaltender Byron Dafoe.

Hurricanes forward Jeff O’Neill notched the game-winning goal, his 19th goal of the season, at 5:37 of the second period when Ron Francis dealt him the puck in front of Boston goaltender Peter Skudra. O’Neill beat Skudra five-hole with a snapshot from 15 feet. O’Neill has scored four goals in the Hurricanes’ last four games and earned 11 points (6g, 5a) in the last nine games.

O’Neill credits Francis for much of his recent success.

“I think that it’s just a great play by Ronnie Francis,” said O’Neill. “He has a great hockey sense. He tipped the puck to me and I kept thinking about passing it but I just shot it on net and it went through his legs. A bit of a lucky goal.”

O’Neill says that shooting the puck on net rather than looking to pass has increased his goal scoring. Again, he credits Francis’ presence for the changes to his game.

“I kind of realized that he has far too many points as it is so I decided to do something myself,” joke O’Neill. “He’s the passer on the line and he tells me to shoot all of the time. I had a disease there for a couple of years there where I wouldn’t shoot the puck so I finally started doing it the last couple of years. The bottom line is that you don’t score if you don’t shoot the puck.”

O’Neill liked what he saw from his team throughout the game.

“I thought positioning-wise we were pretty good tonight. We had a few breakdowns but we battled pretty hard and whenever we compete really hard it usually makes up for the errors we make up there.”

Boston never led during the game but threatened Carolina when winger Brian Rolston let a slapshot go from just inside the blue line as Martin Gelinas’ two-minute holding penalty came to an end. The puck sailed through traffic and beat Carolina goaltender Arturs Irbe low on the glove side. The goal was Rolston’s seventh of the season and took the score to 3-2.

With the game on the line, at 12:49 of the third period, Jeff O’Neill took a two-minute boarding penalty when he put Boston defenseman Peter Popovic into the boards. The Bruins went to work on the power play only to have it nullified after eight seconds as Brian Rolston received two minutes for tripping Sami Kapanen as he skated the puck out of the Boston offensive zone.

During the ensuing 4-4 senario Carolina forward Martin Gelinas notched his 15th goal of the season. Gelinas skated the puck across the blue line and headed straight toward Skudra. Gelinas’ line-mate, Rod Brind’Amour skated in from the other side of Skudra. Gelinas attempted to pass across the slot to Brind’Amour when the puck deflected off of the skate of Boston defenseman Patrick Traverse.

NOTES: Carolina defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh is expected to return to the Hurricanes’ lineup on January 20 vs. the Los Angeles Kings… Hurricanes defenseman Kevin Hatcher is expected to return to the lineup on January 22 vs. the New York Rangers… Hurricanes goaltender Arturs Irbe stopped 28 of 30 Boston shots on goal to record his third straight win and extend his unbeaten streak to nine games… Irbe started his 32nd consecutive game in net for Carolina and made his 33rd consecutive appearance… Ron Francis is on a five-game points streak (1/9-1/18: 4g, 3a)…

1st2nd3rdTOTAL
Boston0112
Carolina2114

First Period: Scoring: 1, Carolina, G Wesley 3 (Brindamour,Battaglia), 2:34. 2, Carolina, Vasicek 7 (Battaglia, Dimaio), 6:37.Penalties: Gill, Bos (hooking), 3:52; Nazarov, Bos (fighting major), 7:29;Langdon, Car (fighting major), 7:29; Kolarik, Bos (interference), 12:27;Allison, Bos (interference), 16:48.
Second Period: Scoring: 3, Boston, Traverse 3 (Ward, Rolston), 5:07.4, Carolina, Oneill 19 (Francis, Kapanen), 5:37. Penalties: Brindamour,Car (holding), 13:07.
Third Period: Scoring: 5, Boston, Rolston 7 (Samsonov, Kovalenko),7:32. 6, Carolina, Gelinas 15 (Brindamour), 14:19. Penalties: Gill, Bos(roughing), 4:13; Vasicek, Car (roughing), 4:13; Gelinas, Car (holding),5:26; Oneill, Car (boarding), 12:49; Rolston, Bos (Obstr tripping), 12:58;Guerin, Bos (unsportsmanlike conduct), 14:55; Malik, Car (unsportsmanlikeconduct), 14:55; Vasicek, Car (high sticking), 19:52.

SHOTS ON GOAL

Boston7176--30
Carolina

12
6
3
--21

Power-play Conversions: Bos - 0 of 4, Car - 0 of 4. Goalies: Boston,Dafoe (5 shots, 3 saves), Skudra (6:37 of 1st period, 16, 14; record:4-7-1). Carolina, Irbe (30, 28; record: 19-14-6). A:10,732. Referees:Auger, Kowal. Linesmen: S Provost, Sericolo.

INDIVIDUAL PLAYER STATISTICS

BostonCarolina
GA+/-ShotsGA+/-Shots
Allison
Axelsson
Eloranta
Gill
Goren
Guerin
K Mclaren
Knuble
Kolarik
Kovalenko
Nazarov
Popovic
Rolston
Samsonov
Sweeney
Thornton
Traverse
Ward
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
1
-1
-1
even
-1
even
-1
even
-1
-2
-1
even
-3
+1
even
+1
-1
even
+1
3
2
0
0
0
2
5
1
0
0
6
0
2
1
3
1
3
1
Battaglia
Brindamour
Dimaio
Francis
G Wesley
Gelinas
Halko
J Daniels
Kapanen
Karpa
Langdon
Malik
Oneill
T Westlund
Tanabe
Vasicek
Wallin
Willis
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
2
2
1
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
+2
+2
+2
even
+1
even
-1
-1
even
+2
-1
+3
+1
-1
+1
+1
-2
even
0
2
1
0
4
2
1
0
0
1
0
2
2
0
2
1
0
3

Post Game Quotes
Carolina Hurricanes vs. Boston Bruins
January 18, 2001

Carolina Head Coach Paul Maurice:

On the game:
“We’ve been playing a pretty good solid team game. It’s important to get goals from different people. Like Glen Wesley – a great shot kinda set the tone. That was the best part of a really strong first period. The only part that struggled was out power play. We’re missing a couple of key guys on the backend off that power play. Even when we are in trouble right now, the players are so conscious defensively that we can win the breakdowns. Even if there is a shot, Archie made the great save in the second period which was a critical save and he made a few others, but we didn’t force him to be the difference in a lot of ways. We played a pretty solid game.”

On the unbeaten streak:
“When you take a look at the schedule that we had, it’s not a talent thing. The teams that we beat are a lot more dangerous. When we get to Tampa Bay at that point, they know they had to win that game. Chicago had only lost two in their last 14, they have to win that game as well. Montreal I felt the same way, the Islanders too. We hit all those teams after the turn and everybody says, okay you’re only eight points back. Even Florida. Florida’s either going to be eight points back or six points back or they’re going to be 14 points back. “Those are critical times to face those teams. Those teams are hungry and they are scrappy. Anaheim was the same way. The teams that we beat, while they are under .500, they are at the point that we’ve been – where you have to win those games. And we’ve been able to play well.”

On beating Boston:
“Boston was 10-3-3-2 in their last 18 games I believe. So they’ve been playing well. The thing I am most pleased with is that we beat a team with their lineup. For the most part – that’s their team. We’ve been able to be strong even with a few key injuries.”

Bruins Head Coach Mike Keenan:

On the game:
“It was a very disappointing start for us, especially considering the magnitude of the game. Carolina was a lot more prepared for this game than we were.”

On Boston’s success going into tonight:
“Well nothing seduces you more than success…. There was an expectation that they should win every game. Sometimes you can get yourself to a point where you are somewhat disrespectful and a little bit borderline in terms of preparation. We big a big club last game, and there wasn’t anywhere near the same level of preparation for a game that was probably more important than the last game to us.”

On Irbe:
“We made him look good. We pushed the puck at them. We weren’t mostly prepared to finish them off. Those were good saves, but they weren’t spectacular saves because we weren’t prepared to play. From top to bottom.”

On improving as the game went along:
“We tried to get ourselves ready to play during the game. It is very, very difficult to do that. Unless you’re really, really, really talented as a team, you can’t get away with that in this league.”

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