RALEIGH, N.C. – Tim Thomas came out on top in a matchup of all-star goalies.
Nathan Horton and Patrice Bergeron scored early in the third period and Thomas made 24 saves for Boston to help the Bruins beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 Tuesday night.
Daniel Paille also scored for Boston, giving the Bruins three wins in their four meetings with Carolina this season.
Carolina’s Cam Ward stopped 30 shots, but came out on the losing end.
“We found a way to win against a hungry team that’s battling to get into a playoff spot,” Thomas said. “They played good, and we played pretty good defensively but weren’t getting too much started. We went into the third and found a way to win.”
Jamie McBain and Joe Corvo scored for Carolina goals. Corvo’s scoring streak stretched to six games.
Carolina’s Jay Harrison and Boston’s Milan Lucic fought late in the first period.
Hurricanes forward Jussi Jokinen left the game with a lower-body injury in the first period and did not return.
Boston outshot the Hurricanes 15-10 in the scoreless first period despite two Carolina power plays.
Thomas improved to 25-5-6.
“You can’t figure out how he’s getting it done, but he’s been getting it done all year long,” Boston coach Paul Maurice said. “The save he made on (Brandon) Sutter, when he makes the spin-o-rama in the air—you can’t describe it, but you can certainly appreciate how good he’s been.”
The Bruins took the lead at even strength at 4:14 of the second, as Paille scored his first goal of the season on a deflection of Zdeno Chara’s blast from the left point.
Carolina tied it on a rush at 11:25, when Sergei Samsonov set up McBain for an easy tip-in on the stick-side doorstep for his fourth goal of the season.
The Bruins made it 2-1 at 3:54 of the third, as Horton flicked the puck across the crease and Ward’s left shoulder on a primary assist from David Krejci.
And it quickly went to 3-1 at 5:06, as Bergeron beat a screened Ward from the high slot with Mark Recchi on the first assist.
“It’s nice to win games,” said Chara, who had two assists. “Give Carolina credit. They play a high-tempo, speedy skill game and they put a lot of pressure on you. We found a way to put a lot of shots on Ward, who was basically playing unbelievable.”
Corvo scored a power-play goal at 8:05 when he beat Thomas glove side on a slapper from the high slot with Erik Cole on the first assist.
Notes: Hurricanes captain Eric Staal, who was one of the captains in Sunday’s all-star game here, was picked as the NHL’s first star of the week. … Boston alternate captain Recchi, who was a member of Carolina’s 2006 Stanley Cup championship team, celebrated his 43rd birthday Tuesday.