RALEIGH, N.C. - David Krejci had a short-handed goal and an assist as the Boston Bruins snapped a season-worst four-game losing streak Tuesday night by pulling away late to rout the Carolina Hurricanes 5-1.
Shane Hnidy scored the go-ahead goal in the second period, Patrice Bergeron had an empty-net goal and an assist and Chuck Kobasew and Blake Wheeler also scored for Boston.
The NHL's best team became the first to reach 40 wins by continuing its dominance of the Southeast Division.
The Bruins rallied from an early deficit and surged with three goals in the final 3:48 to clinch its first sweep of the franchise that once was its New England-based rival.
Matt Cullen scored for the Hurricanes, whose recent home-ice troubles continued.
They have been outscored 15-2 in three home games in a six-day stretch to remain five points behind the four teams that hold the bottom four spots in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
Tim Thomas stopped 31 shots, including all 21 he faced in the final two periods, while improving to 6-2-2 in his last 10 games for the Bruins.
They're a combined 12-0 against every Southeast Division team but Washington, and sealed their first sweep of the Hurricanes since the franchise joined the NHL in 1979 as the Hartford Whalers.
Boston won all four meetings by a combined 18-6.
Hnidy scored the go-ahead goal roughly 5 1/2 minutes into the second after Krejci won a draw against Rod Brind'Amour, annually the best faceoff man in the NHL.
The puck scooted behind the right circle to Hnidy, and the Boston defenceman snapped it past goalie Cam Ward, who never seemed to get an eye on it.
Ward stopped 29 shots for the Hurricanes, who retired veteran defenceman Glen Wesley's jersey No. 2 during a pre-game ceremony and rode those emotions to an early lead.
Then, the Bruins' fifth-ranked power-play started the comeback by taking advantage of a rare penalty against the league's least-penalized team.
Andrew Ference uncorked a blast from the blue line that clicked off teammate Milan Lucic in front of Ward, and Wheeler tapped in the rebound for his third goal in six games.
Ray Whitney and Cullen teamed midway through the first to give Carolina its only lead.
Whitney chased the puck down near the blue line and brought it down the ice, looping around the left side before he backhanded a pass to Cullen.
He one-timed it past Thomas for his 16th goal and fifth in nine games.
Notes: The Hurricanes played without RW Justin Williams, who broke his hand two days earlier against Buffalo. C Michael Ryan was called up from Albany (AHL) to replace him. ... Carolina C Tuomo Ruutu played his 300th career game. ... There was a bizarre confrontation in the final minute of the first, when 6-foot-9 Boston D Zdeno Chara briefly went toe-to-toe with diminutive Carolina C Chad LaRose, who's nearly a foot shorter. Both players got two-minute roughing penalties.