Cam Ward dazzled and the the Bruins’ penalty kill was uncharacteristically poor as the Hurricanes shut out the B’sat TD Garden on Friday.
The Hurricanes got power-play goals from Jeff Skinner, Tuomo Ruutu, and Jussi Jokinen in the first, second, and third periods, respectively. It was the first time this season that the Bruins, who entered the game with the league’s top penalty kill, allowed three power-play goals.
The B’s outshot Carolina, 37-20, though Ward was able to stop every shot he saw, robbing the likes of Nathan Horton and Tyler Seguin. The loss dropped the Bruins’ record to 12-7-2, while Tim Thomas saw his record fall to 11-2-1. The Bruins are now 4-5-2 in home games, including the season-opener in Prague.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– The penalty kill struggled without Jordan Carons in what proved to be a game decided by special teams. The Hurricanes were able to net tallies in all three of their power plays. Carolina actually entered the game 21st in the league with a 15.3 power play percentage, while the Bruins’ 90.5 penalty kill percentage was tops in the league entering Friday. The last time the Bruins had allowed three power play goals was on April 9, 2007 in a game in which the Canadiens went 3-for-7.
– Just as the penalty kill was rough for the B’s, the power play was brutal. The Bruins failed to get a shot on Cam Ward in either of their man advantages in the second period, and poor passing often left them chasing the puck down outside of the offensive zone. The Bruins finished the game 0-for-4 on the power play.
– As fascinating as this team’s third-period play has been, they once again saw why turning it up in the third period isn’t a safe motto to live by. Friday marked the 10th game in which the Bruins trailed entering the third period, and with the loss they have dropped to 2-6-2 in those games.
WHAT ELSE WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Daniel Paille hasn’t played much this season, and when he has, he’s given the naysayers plenty of reason for their criticism. Paille was in the lineup on Friday in place of Jordan Caron (flu) and committed the turnover that led to the Hurricane’s first goal.
– Tyler Seguin and Taylor Hall were the two names everyone knew in June’s draft, but another top-10 pick continued to show that he’s been the league’s best rookie on Friday. In getting the Hurricanes on the board with his power play goal in the first period, seventh overall pick Jeff Skinner added to his league-high points total. He now has 18 points on the season.
The youngest player in the league, Skinner played against Seguin and Hall in the OHL as a member of the Kitchener Rangers the last two years. Last season, he scored 50 goals for Kitchener.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton got more pucks on net, something neither have done nearly enough this season. Lucic had five shots on Ward, which tied Zdeno Chara for the team high, while Horton had four. Even so, Horton did not have one of his better showings, appearing to go through the motions in the second period more than anything else.
– For the second game in a row, the Bruins were aided by a delay of game call on their opponent while the B’s were already on the power play. Tim Gleason sent the puck over the glass in his own zone at 12:00 of the third, though there were just four seconds remaining on a Joni Pitkanen high-sticking minor.