Final: Boston 3, Carolina 2 (OT)
Recap: Despite Boston owning a dominant edge in shots out of the gate (6-0), the Hurricanes jumped out to an early 1-0 lead. Andrej Sekera sent a shot from the point that sailed past Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara and, ultimately, Chad Johnson. But the B's knotted the game up less than 10 minutes later, with Zdeno Chara striking in front on the power play.
In the second, red-hot Reilly Smith took a feed from Carl Soderberg and lifted a backhander up and over Cam Ward to make it 2-1 Boston. The Hurricanes, after firing just 10 pucks on Johnson in the first 40 minutes, came alive in the third.
Carolina outshot Boston 14-11 in the final period of regulation and got the tying tally from Patrick Dwyer. The B's persevered, however, with David Krejci scoring 1:28 into overtime.
Records: Boston 15-6-2, 32 points; Carolina 8-10-5, 21 points
Key Play of the Game: Krejci's OT goal, of course. Carl Soderberg did a great job on the back-check, breaking up a Hurricane coming down the right wing. Johnny Boychuk collected the loose puck and hit a streaking Jarome Iginla. Iginla sneaked through defenders and dropped it back to Krejci, who showed remarkable patience in waiting out Ward before roofing a gimme top-shelf.
Connolly's Commendations: We'll keep rolling with the Krejci love. No. 46 had been struggling since getting his bell rung by Brandon Dubinsky in a game against the Blue Jackets. The Czech pivot had no points in his last five games and had been struggling at the dot. Today? He scored the game-winner, put five pucks on net and won 9-of-14 faceoffs.
The dynamic duo of Smith and Soderberg had another strong game today, connecting on the B's second goal and firing four shots apiece.
Connolly's Critiques: The B's did have a goal on the PP but, outside of that, it wasn't a banner night for Boston's special teams. Carolina's woeful power play got a goal, and the Black and Gold allowed them to tie the tilt on a shorthanded strike in the third.
Notes: With the win, Johnson improves to 3-1 on the year (2.21 goals-against average). ... Patrice Bergeron has now gone four games without a point. Prior to this cold streak, he was riding a four-game point streak.
Final Thoughts: Had the Bruins managed to squander this one, you simply could've chalked it up to bad luck. This wasn't one of those instances where they played down to the competition. The Hurricanes were dominated for majority of the game and caught a break earning a point.
Next: The B's will welcome Sidney Crosby and the Penguins to town on Monday night.