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Bruins look to snap road skid against Hurricanes

by Eric Goodman

BRUINS (12-6-1) at HURRICANES (8-8-4)


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

Season series: This is the first of three games this season. The Boston Bruins won the 2012-13 season series against the Carolina Hurricanes with a 2-1-0 record.

Big story: The Hurricanes have been very strong at home recently with nine out of a possible 12 points in their past six games at RBC Center, and they'll have goaltender Cam Ward back in the lineup. However, they won't have forward Alexander Semin, who is out with an upper-body injury sustained Saturday against the St. Louis Blues. Boston continues its three-game road trip Monday and will look to avoid a fourth straight road loss.

Team Scope:

Bruins: What has kept Boston from owning the top spot in the Eastern Conference is the inconsistent play away from home. While the Bruins opened the season with a perfect 4-0-0 road record, they have since dropped three straight outside of TD Garden.

"I thought we had a good start this year on the road,” coach Claude Julien told the Boston Globe following practice Sunday. “We won our first four. We’ve slipped since then. We’ve got to pick up our game here on the road. It’s not going to get any easier. It’s only going to get tougher. So we need some quality play from our hockey club.”

Hurricanes: Carolina is averaging less than two goals a game, and the depth of their offense will be tested further with the absence of Semin, who is tied with injured forward Jeff Skinner (upper body) for third on the team's scoring list with nine points.

The Hurricanes might be struggling to find the back of the net, but they did accomplish a rare feat in a 4-2 loss to the Blues on Saturday. Carolina got back-to-back shorthanded goals by captain Eric Staal and forward Nathan Gerbe to tie the game, which was the first time the Blues gave up two goals on the same power play since Oct. 8, 1992. But a third-period goal by the Blues' Alexander Steen, the current NHL leader in goals and points, would stand as the game winner.

"It stung getting scored on in the third," said Hurricanes goalie Justin Peters. "[Steen] came down and made a good shot."

Who's hot: Loui Eriksson is in the midst of a five-game point streak for Boston with two goals and four assists ... Hurricanes captain Eric Staal has goals in back-to-back games for the first time this season.

Injury report: For the Bruins, defenseman Adam McQuaid missed the past three games with a lower-body injury and is questionable for Monday. ... Besides Semin, the Hurricanes are without goalie Anton Khudobin (lower-body injury), as well as Skinner. Forward Radek Dvorak (lower body) returns after missing the past two games for Carolina. Forward Kevin Westgarth (upper body), who has missed the past eight games, is questionable.

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