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Bruins escape in overtime, 3-2

The SportsXchange

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins had to be as surprised as anyone that they were stating overtime with the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday.

After all, the Bruins had dominated Carolina for more than two periods, holding the Hurricanes, who totaled 10 shots in the first 40 minutes, without a shot for a stretch that lasted almost 23 minutes.

Still, there was overtime, and it took a goal by center David Krejci to give Boston, the Eastern Conference leader, a 3-2 victory and hand Carolina its fourth straight loss and its sixth in a row on the road.

"That's kind of a dangerous thing: you have so much pressure and dominance but you don't score on those chances that you have, it's a one-goal game," Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara said after the Hurricanes scored a shorthanded goal to force overtime.

"It's very dangerous when you have that lead when going into the third when you've dominated a team for two periods, and then all of a sudden in the third they play better and then get that tying goal and anything can happen. I thought we were more desperate in the overtime."

The Bruins, who were tied by the St. Louis Blues in the third period and then lost in a shootout Thursday night, had the only shot of the of overtime.

That came when right wing Jarome Iginla, who had hit both posts with an open net in the third period, split the defense and found his trailing center.

Krejci waited, waited and waited some more before scoring his fourth goal of the season, beating Cam Ward 1:28 into the extra five minutes.

Krejci said he didn't think Iginla saw him.

Iginla said he just wanted Krejci to get it over with.

"It was a nice move by (Krejci) in front with the patience," Iginla said. "Great move and I'm like, 'Hey, put it in, put it in,' but he obviously made the right call."

The goal made a winner of backup goalie Chad Johnson, who improved to 3-1 in relief of Tuukka Rask.

The defeat ended a strong game by Ward, who lost to the Bruins for the second time in six days and just returned from a knee injury in last Monday's loss.

"I felt really comfortable, probably the most comfortable I have felt all year," Ward said. "And I would like to look at the positives of that and build.

"But you play to win hockey games and I want to win more than anything. We will shoot for that tomorrow (against the Ottawa Senators in Raleigh)."

The Hurricanes, averaging 1.96 goals per game, didn't have a shot from the middle of the first period to around the same time in the second.

Carolina tied the game with 8:50 left when right winger Patrick Dwyer scored on a short-handed breakaway. It was the first short-handed goal allowed by the Bruins this season.

"You know what, we came in (after the second period) and we talked and said our backs are against the wall and we have to scratch and claw to get back into this hockey game; and try to win the game, and I think we went out there and played pretty well in the third," Dwyer said.

Carolina, spurred by two straight strong penalty kills, had 14 shots in the third.

Chara and right winger Reilly Smith scored their fourth goals of the season for Boston, while defenseman Andrej Sekera scored his fifth for Carolina.

Sekera left the game after a shot by Bruins right winger Shawn Thornton hit him on the right skate early, but was back in time to have his shot from the blue line find its way through for his third goal in the last two games at 5:53 of the first period.

NOTES: Carolina C Eric Staal's first-period assist gave him a five-game points streak. ... Bruins Ds Adam McQuaid (seventh straight) and Dennis Seidenberg (second game) both remained out of the Bruins lineup because of lower body injuries, but McQuaid is practicing and close to returning. There was speculation McQuaid would be back Saturday, but Kevan Miller's strong play in his NHL debut Thursday night allowed Boston to take more time on McQuaid. ... Carolina LW Jeff Skinner played in his 200th NHL game. ... The Hurricanes host the Ottawa Senators on Sunday night, while the Bruins have the Pittsburgh Penguins at home Monday night. ... Bruins coach Claude Julien, taking secrecy to a whole new level, would not tell the media who was starting in goal 90 minutes before Saturday's game, but Chad Johnson led the team out for warm-ups and got his fourth start of the season. ... Peter Laviolette, fired by the Flyers earlier this season and also the former Carolina coach, was in the press box. He will be an assistant coach with the U.S. Olympic Team.
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