(SportsNetwork.com) - Having put an end to their longest losing streak of the season, the Boston Bruins shoot for a second straight victory on Sunday evening as they visit the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Bruins were 0-3-3 over their past six games heading into Saturday's matinee with the mighty New York Rangers, but got to Blueshirts goaltender Henrik Lundqvist for three first-period goals in a 4-2 win.
Milan Lucic scored twice in the first period on Lundqvist, who was making his first start since Feb. 2 because of a vascular injury, and Carl Soderberg also scored in the opening frame. Reilly Smith added a goal as well and Patrice Bergeron extended his point streak to five consecutive games with an assist.
Boston overcame the loss of starting goaltender Tuukka Rask, who made 14 saves before departing 10 seconds into the second period due to dehydration. Niklas Svedberg made 16 saves in relief.
"It speaks to the way the team plays. It doesn't matter what guys are playing," Bruins defenseman Torey Krug remarked. "If we play the same way then we're going to get results."
Rask was expected to travel with the Bruins to Carolina and could start today as Boston tries to extend its lead for a wild card spot. Rask is 5-3-1 versus the Hurricanes with a 2.09 goals against average and .933 save percentage in 10 games (9 starts).
Boston moved a point ahead of Ottawa, which lost in overtime to Toronto on Saturday, for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins have seven games left on their schedule to the Senators' eight, and Ottawa hosts the Florida Panthers on Sunday.
The Hurricanes are seeking a third win in a row tonight, having followed up an 0-2-2 rut with wins over Pittsburgh and New Jersey. Carolina concludes a five- game homestand on Sunday after topping the Devils 3-1 on Saturday.
Eric Staal and Justin Faulk scored third-period goals and Cam Ward made eight of his 21 saves in the finale frame. Chris Terry scored a game-tying goal late in the second period.
"We got better as the game went on," said Staal.
Faulk's goal was his 15th of the season, leaving him one shy of the single- season record by a defenseman for the Hurricanes franchise set by Anton Babchuk in 2008-09.
Forward Alexander Semin did not play last night for the 'Canes due to a hamstring injury and is day-to-day.
Ward made his second straight start on Saturday since returning from a bout with the flu and figures to get a rest this evening. Anton Khudobin would face the Bruins for the second time in his career, having defeated them 2-1 in a shootout at home on Jan. 4.
That victory featured 19 saves from Khudobin and snapped his club's four-game slide to the Bruins. Staal scored the lone shootout tally off Rask.
Carolina has won four of its past six at home versus Boston.