Bruins host Hurricanes seeking rebound effort
(Sports Network) - The Boston Bruins missed out on an opportunity to take over first place in the Northeast Division this weekend, but will try to bounce back when they host the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday.
The Bruins entered Saturday's game in Montreal trailing the Canadiens by just one point for the division lead, but the Habs extended that advantage to three with a 2-1 regulation win at the Bell Centre. It was the third consecutive win over Boston for the Canadiens and the eighth straight game between the clubs that was decided by one goal.
Montreal jumped out to a 1-0 lead less than seven minutes into Saturday's showdown and pushed the lead to two just 57 seconds into the second period. Boston's only goal came with 7:10 left in the second, when Daniel Paille notched his seventh score of the season.
"Well, we just didn't play well the first period," said Boston forward Jaromir Jagr. "I'm happy about the way we played in the second and third. We've got to play like that the rest of the season, we're going to be a good team (if we do)."
Jagr, who was acquired from Dallas at the trade deadline for a pair of prospects and a conditional second-round draft pick in 2013, was kept off the scoresheet in his second games with the Bruins. The future Hall of Fame winger scored Boston's only goal in Thursday's 1-0 win over New Jersey.
Tuukka Rask stopped 27 shots on Saturday for Boston, which had a three-game winning streak halted. Although the setback pushed the Bruins further behind Montreal in the Northeast Division, Boston still holds a six-point lead over Toronto for the fourth seed in the East.
The Bruins are 7-0-1 over their last eight home games and have a strong 13-2-2 mark at TD Garden this season.
Boston had lost four straight in the series with Carolina before notching a 5-3 win in Raleigh on Jan. 28. The Hurricanes, who will host the season series finale against the Bruins on Saturday, have earned wins in three of their last four trips to Boston.
Carolina enters Monday eight points out of a playoff spot in the East and eight points behind Washington for first place in the Southeast. Having lost four straight and 11 of their last 12 games, the Hurricanes are fortunate their postseason outlook is even that positive.
The Hurricanes were dealt a 4-1 loss by the visiting New York Rangers on Saturday, despite firing 49 shots on net.
Henrik Lundqvist made a season-high 48 saves for the Rangers, who took control of the game with three goals in under 10 minutes during the second period.
"That's a lot of rubber at the net for a team, and (Lundqvist) came up with some big saves," Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller stated. "I don't know what more our guys can do. There were great scoring chances. We asked them to go to the net, get second and third rebounds. We did everything you're supposed to do, and were only able to beat him once."
Zac Dalpe recorded the lone goal against Lundqvist, while Dan Ellis stopped 27-of-30 shots in the loss. Ellis was pulled after two periods and Justin Peters finished with eight saves in relief.
Carolina played Saturday without winger Alexander Semin, who sat out with an unspecified upper body injury. Semin is second on the team with 36 points on 10 goals and 26 assists and is questionable for Monday's game.
The Hurricanes have lost four of their last five games on the road and are 9-7-2 as the guest this season.
04/08 10:52:32 ET