Highlights from the Bruins' 5-3 loss to the Hurricanes

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FINAL SCORE: Hurricanes 5, Bruins 3

BRUINS RECORD: 20-13-4

FROM JOE HAGGERTY:

1. Steve Kampfer was viewed as something of a throw-in during the Adam McQuaid trade with the Rangers when it was made at the start of training camp. Sure he had some experience with the B’s, but he was also entering a situation where Boston had a ton of depth. He hasn’t been perfect and has had some issues with penalties and bad pinches at times, but he’s also scored two goals in the last five games and has been very solid as of late for the Black and Gold. He’s certainly earned his spot with the B’s as one of their D-men corps based on the way he’s played.

2. A breakout game for Ryan Donato, who has a pair of goals after the first 40 minutes of play. The first was Donato simply grinding around the front of the net on the power play, and throwing a loose puck off Trevor van Riemsdyk that then bounced Petr Mrazek and into the net for the first goal of the game. In the second period, Donato’s goal was even more important as he fired a laser beam wrist shot from the top of the face-off circle that beat Mrazek top corner and stopped a run of four straight unanswered goals in a nightmarish second period for the Black and Gold. Donato now has four goals in 13 games since being called back up from the Providence Bruins.

3. Charlie McAvoy had a rough night. He tried to glove a puck that he whiffed on and ended up in the back of the net when it ricocheted past Tuukka Rask in the first period, and then in the second period he simply had Sebastian Aho take a puck from him by the defensive blue line that led to Aho’s second goal of the game. McAvoy also played a key role in Carolina’s shorthanded goal giving up another puck that really started the downward spiral going in the second period for the Black and Gold. McAvoy has been very good as of late while getting his good legs and sharpness in his hockey game, but he looked like he wanted nothing to do with playing in this final game before Christmas.

4. It wasn’t all Tuukka Rask’s fault, of course, but he let in a couple of goals later in the game that really didn’t help the Boston Bruins. The long-range shot from Justin Faulk at the point was definitely one of them that ended up being the game-winner for the Carolina Whalers, and of course the insurance short-hander in the third period where Rask completely botched playing the puck around the net was another goal really on him. Rask ended up allowing five goals on 37 shots with some bad luck early, but Rask couldn’t make a play or two later in the game to potentially let the Bruins make an unlikely Christmas comeback.

5. Bruins thought it was all over 2-0 in the first period, and clearly after those opening 20 minutes took their foot off the gas pedal against a HurriWhale team that’s certainly good enough to make them pay. After that point, Carolina outscored them by a 5-1 margin over the final 40 minutes of the game, they won the hustle battle and took advantage of a slew of mistakes from young D-men Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk. It certainly felt like they started their Christmas break early and had their minds on opening gifts rather than playing out the rest of the pre-holiday NHL schedule. That’s a shame given how good they’d been in the last few games after the back-to-back losses to Pittsburgh and Buffalo. 

BOX SCORE

HIGHLIGHTS

DONATO STRIKES EARLY TO PUT B'S AHEAD 1-0

FIGHT

KAMPFER EXTENDS THE LEAD TO 2-0

MCAVOY HELPS CANES CUT THE DEFICIT 2-1

CANES TIE IT AT 2...

...AND THEN TAKE THE LEAD

FOURTH STRAIGHT GOAL FOR CANES MAKES IT 4-2

DONATO'S 2ND BRINGS B'S BACK WITHIN ONE

CANES ADD ANOTHER ON RASK'S BLUNDER

UP NEXT

THURSDAY: vs Devils 7:00 p.m. (NESN)

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