Boston Bruins' Chuck Kobasew (12) shoots the puck past Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward (30) during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Friday, Dec. 28, 2007. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
As seen on NESN -- The Boston Bruins fell to the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-3, Friday night in Raleigh. The Hurricanes Eric Staal scored the game-winner early in the third period and Carolina goalie Cam Ward only needed to make 18 saves for the victory.
"I think the one thing that really hurt us tonight were the bad penalties we took," said Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien to NESN's Rob Simpson after the game. "I thought we battled hard throughout the night and got ourselves back in the game.
"We did some good things...and had lots of chances.
"But the type of penalties and the timing of penalties really hurt us," he said.
Some of the youngest members of the Bruins came out of the Christmas break under a ton of scrutiny. The intense observation was deemed necessary, not only because of the Black & Gold's current losing streak, but because the B's youngsters would surely be counted on as the hobbled team waited for key veterans, lost to injury before the break, to return to the NHL lineup.
Unfortunately for Boston, it was a Carolina veteran who scored first and left Boston playing catchup for most of the contest as Hurricanes veteran power forward Rod Brind'Amour beat Boston goalie Tim Thomas to put Carolina up, 1-0, at 5:56.
Carolina Hurricanes' Eric Staal (12) watches as Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas (30) gloves the puck during first period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Friday, Dec. 28, 2007. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
Shortly thereafter, Boston's Chuck Kobasew trailed Marc Savard into the Carolina zone, and after retrieving the puck when Savard's own shorthanded attempt was stymied by the Hurricane defense, Kobasew scored the Bruins second shortie of the year at 8:07.
Defenseman Mike Commodore quickly put Carolina back on top with a laser of his own at 10:51. Commodore's goal put his club up 2-1 going to the first intermission.
The B's Thomas made three key saves early in the second session and continued to be a big factor throughout the middle period.
Unfortunately for Thomas and Boston, Carolina's Chad LaRose was given a shorthanded penalty shot after being hauled down on a breakaway during a Bruins man-advantage.
LaRose converted at 15:28 to make the sore 3-1 going into the second break.
Coming out of that break, Boston forward P.J. Axelsson slammed home his seventh of the year at just the 51-second mark.
Carolina's Eric Staal scored to put his club back up by two at 3:46 of the third, but Phile Kessel took a nice feed from rookie Milan Lucic, shook a monkey off his back and put the B's right back in the game -- 4-3, at 3:57.
A 6:30 of the final session, the Hurricanes Commodore tried to separate Axelsson's head from his body via body check and burly Boston defenseman Mark Stuart took major exception to the hit.
With Axelsson trying to regain his wits, Stuart followed the Carolina blueliner down the ice to take him to task and a short fight ensued. Unfortunately, that led to a Carolina power play and an instigator call (i.e. an ejection) against Stuart.
Axelsson, who was obviously not feeling his best after the hit, eventually left the game.
Even with a short bench Boston fought courageously for the remainder of the thrid period, but was unable to overcome the deficit. After the final whistle, the Black & Gold went to their locker room having dropped five straight games for the first time this season.
"What's frustrating to me is losing 4-3," said Thomas after the game to the media members gathered by his locker. "You know, the guys gave a good effort and I wish I could have let in a couple less (goals) because we need wins."
Boston traveled to Atlanta after the game and will play the Thrashers on Saturday evening.