Rapid Reaction: Hurricanes 4, Bruins 2

This wasn’t the way the Boston Bruins wanted to begin a four-game road trip.

The Carolina Hurricanes snapped a stalemate with a late goal in the third period en route to a 4-2 victory at RBC Center. The Hurricanes’ Jay Harrison scored the game winner at 18:30 to give Carolina a 3-2 advantage before teammate Eric Staal added an empty-net goal. The Hurricanes are 3-0-0 against the Bruins this season. Goaltender Cam Ward made 33 saves for Carolina.

The Bruins received goals from Patrice Bergeron and Milan Lucic. Boston goaltender Tim Thomas made 17 saves. The Bruins’ David Krejci extended his point streak to 11 games when he assisted on Lucic’s goal. It’s the longest point streak in the NHL this season.

After Bergeron gave Boston a 1-0 lead at 6:13 of the second period, the Hurricanes answered when Brandon Sutter’s slap shot was redirected in by Patrick Dwyer..

Lucic gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead at 1:21 of the third period, but Carolina again answered, tying the game at 2-2 when Justin Faulk scored at 13:58.

BEST FOR LAST: The Bruins have been extremely successful with their play in the third period this season and that almost continued on Saturday against Carolina. With the game knotted at 1-1, Lucic produced a sniper of a goal 1:21 into the final frame. With that tally, Boston increased its plus/minus rating to a plus-28 in the third period this season. Unfortunately for Boston, it couldn’t hold that lead and Carolina finished off the defending Stanley Cup champions with a pair of goals in the third.

HUGE MISTAKE: It’s mind blowing that Bergeron was not named an All-Star this week. While teammates Zdeno Chara, Tim Thomas and Tyler Seguin, along with the Bruins’ entire coaching staff, will participate in All-Star festivities at the end of the month in Ottawa, Bergeron will have a few days off. He’s a complete player and he proved that once again when he notched his 12th goal of the season at 6:13 of the second period. He now has 18 points in his last 14 games.

ANOTHER SLOW START: Bruins coach Claude Julien has not been happy with the team’s sluggish starts of late and that was the case again against the Hurricanes. Boston couldn’t capitalize on a pair of power plays, and even though Tim Thomas made only six saves in the opening period, many of them were quality chances by Carolina.

THREE DOWN: Bruins forward Brad Marchand served the third game of his five-game suspension. He’ll be able to return on Jan. 19 at New Jersey.

UP NEXT: The Bruins continue their road trip and head south to face a pair of Florida foes. The Florida Panthers host the Bruins on Monday and the Bruins follow that up with a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.