Hurricanes pull out tough point against Bruins

calexander@newsobserver.comNovember 23, 2013 

— The Carolina Hurricanes were happy to get out of Boston with a point on Saturday.

The Canes were not happy about losing 3-2 to the Boston Bruins in overtime at TD Garden, with David Krejci scoring the winner.

And they were downright angry about some no-calls during the game, including one in overtime when center Jordan Staal tripped and fell.

But goaltender Cam Ward looked sharp in net. The Canes got a power-play goal from Andrej Sekera in the first period. They got a shorthanded goal from Patrick Dwyer that tied the score 2-2 in the third.

While it was the Hurricanes’ fourth straight loss, all this made itsting not quite as much.

“I think that’s a huge point for us,” Canes coach Kirk Muller said. “Not too many teams are going to walk in here and get points the way (the Bruins) are playing.

“We stuck with it. We battled through a little adversity early on. But I thought the guys played hard, played well. That’s a big point that we can kind of turn the corner on and build on.”

Dwyer’s shorthanded goal was the Canes’ fourth in the past four games and was all about hustle. The speedy forward batted the puck free for a breakaway and beat Bruins goalie Chad Johnson a little more than 11 minutes into the third.

Sekera gave the Canes (8-10-5) a 1-0 lead in the first. After taking a shot by the Bruins’ Shawn Thornton off his foot, the defenseman briefly left the game for treatment but returned just in time for a Canes power play.

Sekera, who scored twice in the Canes’ 4-3 loss Thursday in Detroit, wristed a shot from the point that Johnson couldn’t track. Just like that, Carolina had just its second power-play goal in nine games.

The Canes needed the special-teams scores because the Bruins controlled five-on-five play much of the game. Using an active forecheck to keep the puck in the Carolina zone, the Bruins outshot the Canes 14-6 in the first period and 12-4 in the second.

But Ward, making his second start since returning from a groin injury, was quick in the crease most of the day. Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara scored a power-play goal in the first, using his long reach to whack in a rebound, and Reilly Smith’s backhander gave Boston a 2-1 lead in the second.

“You’ve got to be at your best when you play a team like that,” said Ward, who had 35 saves. “I felt really comfortable, probably the most comfortable I felt all year. But you play to win hockey games and I want to win more than anything.”

The Canes were furious in the second period when Jiri Tlusty got a step on the Bruins’ defense and was driving to the net. Chara came from behind and smacked down on Tlusty’s stick, breaking it.

But there was no slashing call. Play continued.

“The referee said (Chara) didn’t go up high for a slashing,” Tlusty said. “But he’s a 250-pound guy. He put a lot of power in it and he broke my stick. I definitely wasn’t happy.”

Neither was Muller, who saw the Red Wings score Thursday on a 5-on-3 power play after defenseman Tim Gleason was called for a slash.

“I guess we’ve got to check the rule book and see what’s right and wrong,” Muller said.

The Canes wanted a tripping penalty when Jordan Staal went down in overtime but didn’t get it. Krejci then ended it for the Bruins at one minute, 28 seconds of OT, following up a shot by Jarome Iginla, to give Boston (15-6-2) its second victory over Carolina in six days.

The Canes quickly packed up and headed to Raleigh. They host the Ottawa Senators on Sunday to complete a back-to-back.

“We were able to take a point out of a building that’s tough to play in,” Ward said. “We did fight hard. It’s just frustrating to be on the losing side.”

Alexander: 919-829-8945 Twitter: @ice_chip

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