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Bruins continue push toward playoffs vs. Hurricanes

by Eric Goodman /

HURRICANES (16-19-2) at BRUINS (24-9-4)


Last 10: Carolina 1-8-1; Boston 5-4-1

Season series: This is the second of three meetings this season. The Bruins took the first game, 5-3, at Raleigh on Jan. 28. The Hurricanes have won three of their last four games played at TD Garden.

Big story: The Bruins try to bounce back from a tough loss to the rival, first-place Montreal Canadiens on Saturday as they face a struggling Hurricanes team. Boston won seven of its last eight home games and has the fewest home losses in the Eastern Conference with a 13-2-2 record. Carolina hasn't won a game yet in April and is in the midst of a four-game losing streak.

Team Scope:

Hurricanes: Time is ticking quickly in Raleigh as the Hurricanes are closer to last place in the East than they are to a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. A 4-1 loss to the Rangers at PNC Arena on Saturday closed out a three-game homestand in which Carolina lost every game by an aggregate score of 14-4. The loss to the Rangers was certainly not for lack of effort, as the Hurricanes managed a team season-high 49 shots on goal, but couldn't solve goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

"I know I sound like a broken record," coach Kirk Muller said after his team's fourth consecutive loss. "I just don't remember a time where we had a tough time getting points. We played hard. We played with a lot of enthusiasm tonight and we played some good hockey."

Bruins: Boston appears destined for a playoff berth, although it will have to battle it out with the Canadiens for the top spot in the Northeast Division. The 2-1 defeat at Montreal on Saturday ended a three-game winning streak. Despite falling behind 2-0 Saturday, the Bruins played stride for stride with their Original Six rivals -- but it was all about the goalie duel at Bell Centre.

"We just couldn't get the puck in the net. That was it," goalie Tuukka Rask said. "If you look at all three goals scored, if you ask me or [Canadiens goalie Carey] Price, it should have been a 0-0 game."

Who's hot: Alexander Semin has six points (2g, 4a) over his last five games for the Hurricanes. … For the Bruins, Milan Lucic has recorded four assists over his last five games.

Injury report: For Carolina, Semin sat out Saturday with an upper-body injury and is questionable for Monday. Goalie Cam Ward and defenseman Justin Faulk are both out with knee injuries. Defenseman Joni Pitkanen (heel) is out for the season. … For Boston, forward Chris Kelly is questionable with a knee injury. Forward Patrice Bergeron (head) and defenseman Adam McQuaid (shoulder) are out indefinitely.

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