RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes did just what they needed to do Sunday afternoon -- make up ground in the standings.
Rookie Josef Vasicek scored the go-ahead goal with 2:41 left in the third period as the Hurricanes posted a crucial 5-4 victory over the Boston Bruins.
Carolina stopped a four-game winless streak and moved within one point of the Bruins for the final Eastern Conference playoff berth. The Hurricanes took the season series from Boston, 3-1.
With the game tied 3-3, Vasicek skated into the low slot before putting a wrist shot over goaltender John Grahame's right pad for his eighth goal of the season and second against the Bruins.
Defenseman Marek Malik then scored an empty-net goal, his career-high fifth tally of the season, with 54 seconds remaining. It looked to be an insurance goal, but Boston's Jason Allison, who hit the crossbar earlier in the third period when the game was tied 3-3, answered with his 25th goal with 10 seconds left.
Allison also scored in the second period for the Bruins, who have lost two in a row for the first time since a three-game skid from Jan. 18-22.
"It was a playoff-style of game," said Carolina coach Paul Maurice. "There were certain elements of that where you never got a lead you're comfortable with. You're never out of the game."