RALEIGH, N.C. – Milan Lucic scored with 8:11 left and Tim Thomas made a season-high 43 saves to lead the Boston Bruins past the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 Tuesday night.
Thomas won his fourth straight start and a matchup of all-star goalies. Brad Marchand and Johnny Boychuk also scored and Mark Recchi added two assists for the Northeast Division-leading Bruins, who have won five of six and swept a home-and-home against Carolina.
Jussi Jokinen and Chad LaRose scored, while Cam Ward made 25 saves for the Hurricanes. They have lost three of four since they earned points in eight straight games.
Lucic’s winner came with 53 seconds left on an elbowing minor to LaRose. Recchi skated behind the end line and found an uncovered Lucic in front of the goal.
For the Bruins, goals were much tougher to come by than they were a day earlier during a 7-0 rout of Carolina in Boston in which Zdeno Chara scored three times and Thomas notched his second shutout in three starts and seventh of the season.
Generating shots wasn’t a problem for much of the night for the Hurricanes, who matched a season high with 19 in the first period and then did it again in the second.
What they had trouble doing was putting the puck past Thomas. Jokinen tied it at one with about 3 1/2 minutes left in the first, powering it in from close range on the power play, and LaRose made it 2-2 with 10:41 left—2 1/2 minutes before Lucic’s goal.
The Bruins, who scored three first-period goals in their blowout win a day earlier, appeared headed for a similar start when they scored just over two minutes in.
After Jokinen was sent off for tripping 17 seconds in, Boychuk ripped a slapshot from the blue-line that got past Ward. But that was it for Boston until Marchand backhanded in a rebound to put the Bruins up 2-1 with 16:05 left.
Notes: Thomas is 7-0-3 in his last 10 starts. … The Bruins improved to 18-1-3 when scoring first. … Jokinen has five goals in five games since missing six with a lower body injury.