It is still a bit of a long shot, but a team that dealt Eric Staal
at the trade deadline and is playing without top defenseman Justin
Faulk is hanging around.
"It's possible -- for sure it is," Carolina coach Bill Peters said
after his team pulled out a 3-2 overtime victory over the Boston
Bruins on Thursday night.
The win moved the Hurricanes within three points of the East's
second wild-card spot, but a lot still has to happen for them to
"We're just going to try and accumulate points," Peters said.
"That's seven out of eight since the trade deadline. We believe we
have a chance and we do. At the end of Game 82, we'll see where
Rookie Phil Di Giuseppe slid home a rebound at 1:30 of overtime
after Jeff Skinner was stopped on a breakaway, and the Hurricanes
got the win in the opener of a make-or-break five-game road trip.
Rookie defenseman Noah Hanifin, a local product who played at Boston
College and was making his pro TD Garden debut, took the puck out of
the offensive zone to allow completion of a line change, sliding it
back to goaltender Cam Ward. Ward gave it back to Hanifin, who hit
Skinner with a pass that led to Carolina's second breakaway of the
Tuukka Rask made the save, and Di Giuseppe swept in and got the
rebound, sliding it under Boston's Patrice Bergeron, who was sitting
in the crease with Rask out of position.
"He's elite," Peters said of Hanifin, just 19, who had two assists
in his homecoming. "This kid is a lot of fun to coach. A lot of fun
to see him develop. I thought he had a real good night here, and
he's got a huge upside."
There was a review of the winning goal, checking for possible
contact between Skinner and Rask, but Di Giuseppe's fifth goal of
the season stood.
"I saw Skinnie going down on a little breakaway there, and just in
case he missed, I was going to clean up the garbage," Di Giuseppe
said. "So, I got lucky, it came right to me and I took a whack at
The Hurricanes (31-26-11) pulled this one out in their third
straight overtime game, their second win in a row.
On the other hand, the overtime loss was another blemish on Boston's
sketchy home record, which dropped to 13-14-6. However, the single
point moved the Bruins into first place in the Atlantic Division.
It was Boston's fourth straight OT game, its third in four nights.
The Bruins lost the two at home and won the two on the road in
The Bruins have a one-point lead on both Tampa Bay and Florida, but
both the Lightning and Panthers have played two fewer games.
[to top of second column]
"I don't think we're going to make that big of a deal in being first
place," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "It's nice to be there. I
think right now we're really looking at our game and we're in that
dressing room right now, we're not happy."
Carolina also got goals from Elias Lindholm, his first in 16 games,
and Nathan Gerbe, another Boston College product. Gerbe collected
his first goal not into an empty net since the second game of the
season. Riley Nash finished with two assists.
Loui Eriksson (25th goal) and David Pastrnak scored for the Bruins
(38-23-8). Pastrnak tied the game on a soft goal against Cam Ward in
the third period.
Ward, who gave up the Pastrnak goal from a sharp angle, made 30
saves, while Rask, playing on his 29th birthday, stopped 25 shots.
"I've had it with these three-on-three overtimes," Rask said. "It's
just scoring chance after scoring chance, but you just try to win
the games right? I mean, I was hoping that (we) would score a quick
goal like last game (Brad Marchand 10 seconds into OT), but it
The Hurricanes came in having allowed 2.27 goals per game since Dec.
18, tops in the NHL. They held Boston under that average in the
NOTES: The Bruins announced that owner Jeremy Jacobs will be
inducted as part of the 21st class of the Massachusetts Hockey Hall
of Fame. ... Carolina D Noah Hanifin, a local product, die-hard
Bruins fan and fifth pick in the 2015 NHL Draft who played at Boston
College, was allowed to lead his team onto the ice for pregame
warmups -- except his teammates didn't go with him, leaving him on
the ice by himself for a few laps. Hanifin said he had to buy a slew
of tickets for family and friends. ... Bruins D Kevan Miller missed
his third consecutive game with an upper-body injury. Coach Claude
Julien said Miller could return Saturday against the New York
Islanders. ... The Bruins donated $253,252 to Massachusetts Hockey.
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