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game recap

Bruins drop crucial point in loss to Hurricanes

Boston defeated in shootout, unable to pass Detroit in Atlantic

by Matt Kalman / Correspondent

BOSTON -- Rookie defenseman Noah Hanifin scored in the fifth round of the shootout, and Jaccob Slavin scored his first goal in 52 games to help the Carolina Hurricanes defeat the Boston Bruins 2-1 at TD Garden on Tuesday.

The point gave the Bruins (41-30-9) a tie for a Stanley Cup Playoff spot. They are even with the Philadelphia Flyers for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference and with the Detroit Red Wings for third place in the Atlantic Division; each has 91 points. But Philadelphia has four games left, Detroit has three, and Boston has two.

The Red Wings and Flyers play Wednesday, and the Bruins host the Red Wings on Thursday.

Video: CAR@BOS: Hanifin wins it in the shootout

"Obviously there's no doubt that we needed those two points and obviously we wanted them," Boston center David Krejci said. "But for some reason we just couldn't put the puck in the net, especially in the first two periods. We had a few very good scoring chances. It is what it is. But we got a point, so what we [have] to do now? Just kind of regroup and get ready for Thursday."

Boston's Loui Eriksson scored the tying goal in the third period, and goaltender Tuukka Rask made 27 saves.

The Hurricanes (35-29-16), who were eliminated from playoff contention Saturday, won for the second straight time here (3-2 in overtime March 10). Cam Ward made 35 saves and stopped five Bruins shooters before Hanifin, a native of Norwood, Mass., and a Boston College alumnus, beat Rask with a backhand.

"I liked the way we played, I liked the way we competed," Carolina coach Bill Peters said. "They had a little stretch earlier in the second where they were the better team, but other than that we settled down and played well."

Video: CAR@BOS: Slavin snipes one from deep to open scoring

After Carolina killed two Boston power plays in the first period, the Hurricanes took a 1-0 lead on a wrist shot by Slavin. The defenseman beat Rask to the glove side from the left point on a shot that fluttered into the net at 18:54. His other NHL goal was scored Dec. 8 against the Dallas Stars.

Boston outshot Carolina 16-9 in the second period. Ward's best save was on a point-blank backhand from Brad Marchand at 3:55, and defenseman Zdeno Chara hit the crossbar after a backdoor cut at 15:00.

The Bruins tied it 1-1 at 1:45 of the third period on an Eriksson breakaway after John-Michael Liles shot the puck down the ice from behind the Boston net. Eriksson emerged from the penalty box and picked up the puck inside the Carolina blue line, where Hanifin climbed on the bench instead of playing the puck. Eriksson skated in on his backhand and tucked a forehand around Ward.

"Yeah I was just coming in from my penalty there, and I tried to keep my speed and I saw they were in the middle of a change there too," Eriksson said. "So I was able to pick the puck up there and went on the breakaway, so it was definitely nice."

Video: CAR@BOS: Chara bats goal-bound puck away from net

The Hurricanes nearly took the lead with 1:49 remaining in the third, but Chara swept a loose puck off the goal line after Brett Pesce's wrist shot from the high slot trickled through Rask. Slavin hit the post 32 seconds into overtime, and Eriksson nearly won the game but Ward stacked his pads to keep the puck out of the net at 1:47.

The Bruins thought they had solved their scoring woes during their recent road trip, when they defeated the St. Louis Blues 6-5 and lost to the Chicago Blackhawks 6-4.

"I mean we stuck with it and we managed to tie the game up," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "I can answer 20 questions here or I can give you one thing: It's an inability to finish, and that's the main thing here for tonight. Nothing more."

Video: Hanifin wins it for the Hurricanes in SO

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