Hurricanes 2, Bruins 1

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BOSTON (AP)—Peter Laviolette has fit in perfectly in his first two games as coach of the Carolina Hurricanes.

Radim Vrbata and Eric Staal scored goals and Kevin Weekes made 37 saves to lead Carolina to a 2-1 victory over Boston on Saturday, the Hurricanes’ second straight win under Laviolette.

“I know that nothing will happen overnight. I’m going to work to gain their trust and their respect and I hope they’re going to work to gain mine,” Laviolette said.

Paul Maurice, who spent nine-plus seasons as the Hurricanes’ head coach and was the NHL’s longest-tenured coach, was fired Monday following an 8-12-8-2 start. Carolina beat Pittsburgh 2-1 in overtime Thursday night in Laviolette’s debut, and survived a hectic third period Saturday to beat the Bruins.

“It was a big lift for us mentally and emotionally to get that first win,” Laviolette said. “Then to come in here for a road game against a team that you know was going to be buzzing and you knew was going to play an inspired game. I think it’s a credit to our guys to match it, or better it.”

Staal pushed the Hurricanes’ lead to 2-0 3:03 into the third period with his seventh goal of the season, corralling a loose puck in front and beating goalie Andrew Raycroft with a backhand flip.

“The puck landed right flat, and I just kept going to the net, and got lucky when I slipped it through his legs,” Staal said.

Boston cut it to 2-1 on Glen Murray’s power-play goal 9:40 into the third. Nick Boynton put a shot on net that goalie Kevin Weekes deflected, and Murray put home the rebound for his 11th goal.

Vrbata opened the scoring 1:57 into the second period, picking up his eighth goal of the season on a wrist shot.

Martin Lapointe appeared to tie the game 2-2 by putting a rebound past Weekes with 3:18 left, but the officials blew the play dead before Lapointe touched the puck.

Boston is winless in its last seven home games, and has scored more than two goals just twice in its last nine games overall.

“Teams go through stretches where everything becomes difficult, and I think you can’t just flick a switch and expect to get out of it,” Bruins coach Mike Sullivan said. “I think if we get the effort and focus and play as smart as we did today I think we’ll get the result we’re looking for.”

Raycroft stopped 23 shots. On Thursday night, he was pulled after allowing five goals on 10 shots in two periods against Calgary.

Notes

The Hurricanes, ranked 27th in the NHL on the power play, went 0-for-7 with the man advantage. … The Bruins outshot the Hurricanes 16-4 in the third period. … Laviolette served as an assistant coach for the Bruins from 1999-01 after guiding Boston’s AHL affiliate in Providence to the 1999 Calder Cuptitle.

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Three Stars

  Game Winning Goal
E. Staal E. Staal
Carolina Hurricanes
Scored at 3:33 of 3rd

Goaltending

Goalie Team Shot Save
Andrew Raycroft Dal 25 23