RALEIGH, N.C. (AP)—The Boston Bruins’ latest road win carried them to the top of the Northeast Division.
Sergei Samsonov scored the go-ahead goal in the second period, and the Bruins moved into sole possession of first place in the division by beating Carolina 3-2 on Tuesday night.
The Bruins have earned points in 25 of 29 games, including 15 of their last 16 on the road.
Boston is second in the Eastern Conference, three points behind Tampa Bay. The Bruins have home games against Washington and New Jersey before closing the season on the road against the Devils.
“All year we’ve been playing a simple game,” Thornton said. “When we get on the road, we don’t play too fancy. We just chip the puck in, go and forecheck hard and keep the puck out of our end. There’s really no secret, just the work ethic and smart plays.”
The teams were tied at 1 before the Bruins took control in the second period. They got Samsonov’s 15th goal, then withstood a five-on-three Carolina power play and got a good bounce to preserve their lead.
The Bruins added Thornton’s 23rd of the season for a two-goal advantage early in the third. Vasicek cut the deficit midway through the period, but Carolina got no closer.
The Hurricanes had played well recently despite being eliminated from the playoff race. Carolina had scored 28 points in 22 games coming in, but got few good scoring chances and struggled again on the power play.
The Hurricanes failed on three chances Tuesday. The Hurricanes had a two-man advantage for two minutes in the second period and a man advantage going into the third, but didn’t manage a shot on either power play.
The Hurricanes have gone 0-for-26 on the power play since Sean Hill’s second-period goal against Pittsburgh on March 19. Carolina came into the game with the league’s worst power play, scoring just 40 goals on 374 attempts.
“The power play is something you need to have going in order to have success,” Bayda said. “One goal on the power play makes it that much easier to win. … Once in a while, it’s the lucky one that goes off a shinpad to get everything rolling. Throughout the whole year, we really haven’t had that.”
Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said the power play was an extension of a “pretty lousy game for us.”
“We just didn’t execute,” he said.
Samsonov put the Bruins ahead to stay, taking a pass from Patrice Bergeron along the boards and beating Weekes from between the circles five minutes into the second period.
Carolina had a chance to tie it when Thornton was whistled for interference and Glen Murray called for hooking at 14:59 of the period, but the Hurricanes couldn’t take advantage.
Other than Vasicek’s third-period goal, it turned out to be the Hurricanes’ best scoring chance late.
“As the game went on, I thought we got stronger,” Boston coach MikeSullivan said.
Boston improved to 21-15-8-3 when an opponent scores first. … Samsonov now has four goals and two assists in his last four games. … Bayda’s first-period goal marked just the 29th time in 80 games that the Hurricanes scored first. … Rod Brind’Amour’s assist on Bayda’s goal gave him 13 pointsin 15 games. … The Bruins are now 23-0-4-3 when leading after two periods.