Hurricanes win consecutive home games

Published 8:33 pm Saturday, December 29, 2007

By By Associated Press
RALEIGH — Chad LaRose converted a penalty shot, and Eric Staal scored on the power play in the third period to give the Carolina Hurricanes a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins on Friday night.
Cam Ward made 18 saves for the Hurricanes, who won consecutive home games for the first time since early November.
Mike Commodore and Rod Brind’Amour had Carolina’s other goals. Phil Kessel, P.J. Axelsson and Chuck Kobasew scored for Boston. Kobasew’s was a short-handed goal, his second of the year.
After a strong start to the season, the Bruins are 1-5-1 in their last seven games. The win was a painful one for Carolina as defenseman Bret Hedican left with a sprained knee in the second period and didn’t return.
Hedican got his skate tangled with Kobasew’s with 8:37 remaining in the period, causing his right leg to turn awkwardly. He writhed in pain before being helped off the ice.
The Hurricanes were already playing without forward Justin Williams (torn ACL), forward Matt Cullen (broken nose) and defenseman David Tanabe (concussion). LaRose returned against the Bruins after missing three games with a concussion.
After being pulled down by Boston’s Dennis Wideman on a penalty-kill breakaway, LaRose went to his backhand on the penalty shot, lifting the puck over Tim Thomas. It was only the second short-handed, penalty-shot goal in the NHL this season.
After going its first 37 games without a short-handed goal, the Hurricanes have scored one in consecutive games. Thomas faced a barrage of Carolina chances, making 32 saves in his third game back from a groin injury.
The Hurricanes outshot the Bruins 36-21.
The fact that Staal’s game winner came on the power play was something of a surprise — Carolina had scored on only three of its last 40 chances with the man advantage.
With Boston’s Vladimir Sobotka in the penalty box for delaying the game, Staal collected Andrew Ladd’s slap pass in front of Thomas, made a quick move to get the goalie out of position and then backhanded the puck into the net to give the Hurricanes a two-goal edge.
Kessel converted a nice centering pass by Milan Lucic 10 seconds later to bring Boston within one, but the Bruins couldn’t get the equalizer, squandering Commodore’s holding penalty late in the game. Kessel came close, ringing a shot off the post. Aaron Ward (broken foot), Andrew Alberts (concussion) and Bobby Allen (back spasms) didn’t play for Boston.
The Bruins play at Atlanta on Saturday night before returning home for a five-game homestand. Notes: Carolina sent C Brandon Nolan back to Albany earlier on Friday. … Boston RW Brandon Bochenski hit the post with a slap shot early in the game. … Staal extended his point streak to six games. … Ladd played with a face shield that college players normally wear after breaking a bone underneath his left eye in a fight with the New York Rangers’ Sean Avery on Wednesday night.