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After the Bruins beat down the Hurricanes 7-0 on Monday night, the first in the home-and-home series, you had to wonder how Carolina would respond Tuesday night. As you might imagine, the Bruins didn’t score seven goals again, but they scored enough in a 3-2 victory.
Tim Thomas was outstanding in net, especially in the first and second periods when he stopped 37 out of 38 shots, and finished with a season-high 43 saves to lead the Bruins to victory the second straight night. With the two wins, the Bruins are now nine points ahead of the ‘Canes in the Eastern Conference standings.
Johnny Boychuk scored his first goal of the season early in the first period, beating Canes goalie Cam Ward on the power play. Jussi Jokinen answered back with a power play goal of his own late in the period to even the score 1-1 after one.
After a scoreless second frame in which Thomas stopped 19 shots, Brad Marchand scored early in the third to give the Bruins the lead. The way Thomas had been playing all night, you would think that would be the game-winner, but the ‘Canes finally broke through again when Chad LaRose scored his ninth goal minutes later to even it at 2-2.
Less than three minutes after that, Milan Lucic added his 17th goal of the year, which proved to be the game-winner in the 3-2 win. Boston is now 18-1-3 when they score the first goal of the game. Thomas, meanwhile, has not registered a regulation loss in his last 10 games (7-0-3).
Mark Recchi continued his strong campaign at age 42 (he turns 43 in February) with two assists. Lucic was especially impressed when the veteran assisted on his game-winning goal.
Recchi “did a great job. He came down wide with a lot of speed, and he was able to sell like he was going around the net,” Lucic told reporters. “It was kind of like the parting of the sea for me, right there in front of the net.”
The Bruins get a short rest before they host the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.