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Bruins, Hurricanes looking to rebound @NHLdotcom

HURRICANES (0-1-0) at BRUINS (0-1-0)

Season series: The Bruins swept the Hurricanes in the regular season last year 4-0-0, but the two former New England rivals met again in the Eastern Conference Semifinals where the result was nowhere near as one-sided. Carolina built up a 3-1 series lead, but saw the Bruins come back in the next two to force Game 7, which the 'Canes won 3-2 on a Scott Walker overtime goal, their fourth Game 7 win in a row and second of their 2009 playoff run. That got them the opportunity to face a juggernaut of a Pittsburgh Penguins team that swept them away in the Eastern Conference Finals en route to winning the Stanley Cup.

Big Story: With both teams dropping their season openers, one is going to come away with its first two points. One thing the Bruins are convinced of: if they play the way they did against the Capitals on Thursday, it won't be them. Alex Ovechkin put on a show for the Boston fans in the opener, scoring two goals and an assist in a 4-1 Caps win.

"This is not the same team you're going to see on the ice night after night. That I can guarantee," coach Claude Julien said. "As a home opener, it's certainly not what you want to demonstrate. We have a chance to redeem ourselves soon. Hopefully the guys take advantage of that."

Team Scope:

Hurricanes: A back-to-back with Philly and Boston is about as tough a way to start the season as you can get. A pair of second-period power-play goals 22 seconds apart provided all the offense the Flyers needed on Friday. Meanwhile, Ray Emery looked like the goaltender that brought the Senators to the Stanley Cup Final two years ago, turning back 30 shots to log his first NHL shutout since February, 2007, 2-0. One interesting thing was that Emery's previous two shutouts were also against the 'Canes.

Bruins: "We've got a lot of guys who are maybe not in sync right now," Julien said at practice Friday. "But we just have to take a step back, concentrate on our work ethic, then at least you're giving yourself a chance and the rest will follow." 

"I think our problem was, as a group, we were looking at the big picture and getting back in the playoffs already instead of taking care of business right from the start," Milan Lucic said.

Who's Hot: Playing two days after signing a six-year, $37.8 million contract, goalie Cam Ward stopped 25 shots for the Hurricanes on Friday.

Injury Report: Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen, who is recovering from knee surgery, did not play Friday and appears unlikely for Saturday as well. 

"The injury is fine and it’s healed, but it’s a matter of only having three days of skating after missing most of camp," coach Paul Maurice said. "We all agree he’s not far off, but he's just not right where we need him to be yet."

Stat Pack: In the 2008-09 regular season, Ward was in goal in all four Carolina losses to the Bruins, after going 3-0-1 against them the previous year.

Puck Drop: Last year's playoffs are a faint memory for both these teams as they try to get off to a good start this season.

-- Matt Mankiewich,

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