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game recap

Beleskey's two goals spark Bruins past Hurricanes

Boston wins for 21st time in 31 road games

by Kurt Dusterberg / Correspondent

Beleskey's second goal of game

BOS@CAR: Beleskey records his second goal of the game

2/26/16: Matt Beleskey hammers home Ryan Spooner's feed for his second goal of the game to regain the Bruins' two-goal lead

  • 01:06 •

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Matt Beleskey has endured a couple of scoring droughts this season. Now the goals are coming in waves.

Beleskey scored twice, Tuukka Rask made 39 saves and the Boston Bruins defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 at PNC Arena on Friday.

Beleskey had a 13-game scoreless streak early in the season and a more recent stretch of 21 games in which he scored one goal. Now things are going the other way; he has five goals in Boston's past four games.

"It's always nice when they start coming like that," said Beleskey, who has 13 goals. "You just keep working hard and doing the same things and hopefully it's going to pay off. Right now it is."

The Bruins (34-22-6) have won two in a row and three of their past four.

Video: BOS@CAR: Beleskey hustles to find the top corner

Carolina (28-25-10) lost consecutive games in regulation for the first time since losing three in a row from Nov. 27 to Dec. 3.

The Bruins got an early jump on the Hurricanes with two goals in the first period.

Patrice Bergeron scored his 23rd of the season at 10:26 when he gathered a loose puck near the bottom of the right circle and chipped it over a sprawling Cam Ward (18 saves). The scoring chance was created when Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin tried to play the puck up the boards, but his pass deflected off Brett Connolly and toward the slot.

Just over two minutes later, Beleskey made it 2-0 on a strong individual effort. He chipped the puck off the boards past Hurricanes defenseman Michal Jordan at the Carolina blue line, gathered the puck and fired a shot inside the far post at 12:38.

"Pucks are starting to go in for him," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. 'He was working hard, he was finishing his checks, playing gritty. We're not disappointed in his game. It seems like he's starting to get rewarded now."

Video: BOS@CAR: Bergeron capitalizes on early turnover

In the second period, the Bruins had long stretches of possession in the offensive zone, but they were outshot by the Hurricanes 10-6.

The Hurricanes cut Boston's lead to 2-1 on a power-play goal by rookie defenseman Noah Hanifin at 3:00 of the third period. Hanifin's slap shot went wide of the left post, but the puck rebounded off the end boards, hit the stick of Boston's Kevan Miller and deflected off Rask's skate into the net.

But Beleskey restored Boston's two-goal lead when he scored his second of the night, a wrist shot from the low slot at 6:24. Linemate Ryan Spooner forced a turnover behind the Carolina goal and slipped a quick pass to Beleskey.

"We talked about a play off the draw," said Beleskey, who scored 22 goals for the Anaheim Ducks last season. "I just called for it. He's a great passer, he's got great vision. He just laid it in there for me."

Rask was at his best in the third period when the Bruins had to kill two penalties. On Carolina's second power play, he stopped Kris Versteeg from in close on consecutive shots, extending his pad to make the first save, then fending off Versteeg's backhand bid on the rebound.

Video: BOS@CAR: Rask slides over to rob E. Staal

"We probably blew coverage there, forgot the guy in the slot," said Rask, who improved to 7-3-1 against Carolina. "I saw a lot of the shots. There were a couple I didn't see on the power play, but for the most part I saw them all."

The Hurricanes pulled Ward for the extra attacker with 2:31 remaining, and Rask was tested once more, stopping Victor Rask's wrist shot from the slot with his blocker. Brad Marchand then took the heat off his goaltender when he scored into an empty net with 14 seconds remaining.

Despite the volume of shots, Rask was comfortable with the way the Bruins played in front of him.

"We're not breaking down as bad as we used to," Rask said. "We're more compact and calm out there, and that's helping me see the puck and control the puck. That's why we're not getting scored on that much."

The Hurricanes were playing their third game in four nights, including a 3-1 loss at the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday.

Video: BOS@CAR: Hanifin's shot redirects past Rask for PPG

"We skated tonight, so that was a good sign," coach Bill Peters said. "We haven't skated in our last two games prior to tonight. So on a back-to-back with some travel, somehow we found a way to get some energy and skate. That was a positive, for sure."

Carolina played without forwards Andrej Nestrasil and Jay McClement, who were injured in the loss at Toronto. Defenseman Justin Faulk sat out for the second straight games after aggravating a lower-body injury.

"We were able to generate a lot of chances, a lot of zone time," defenseman Ron Hainsey said. "But you had to beat the goalie from the outside. That's the way they play. They're smart. We just weren't able to do it after falling behind."

Video: Beleskey, Rask pace Bruins in 4-1 victory

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