The Bruins and Hurricanes sit at opposite ends of the Eastern Conference. Boston leads the Northeast Division by six points over Ottawa and trails the New York Rangers by three points for the top seed in the conference.
Carolina, meanwhile, sits last out of the 15 teams in the East with just 45 points, but it has had Boston's number all season long. The Hurricanes bested the Bruins twice during Boston's slow start in October, then came away with a 4-2 home win on Jan. 14 that was just the Bruins' third in its past nine trips to Carolina.
Carolina will hope to feed off that momentum this evening as it faces Boston for the final time this regular season looking to avoid a fourth straight road loss. The Hurricanes had a three-game winning streak at home end on Tuesday with a 5-2 setback to the Islanders.
Brandon Sutter and Tim Brent erased a two-goal deficit with goals in the third period, but New York's John Tavares scored the game-winner at 7:36 of the frame before the Islanders added a pair of empty-net goals. Ward ended with 21 saves and it was his giveaway on a dump-in that led to Tavares' goal.
"We didn't get off to the start we wanted, but we were still in the game," Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller said. "We had a tough second period, but came out hard in the third."
Carolina will play five of its next seven games on the road and is just 5-13-6 as the guest this season, including 0-1-2 in its past three.
Boston won 21 of its next 24 after a 3-7-0 mark in October, but has begun to cool down a bit. The Bruins are 8-5-1 in their past 14 games since and have alternated wins and losses in their last nine games. However, they are coming off Tuesday's 4-3 win over the visiting Senators.
Boston found itself down 3-1 late in the second before Milan Lucic scored with 44.6 seconds left in the frame. Brad Marchand then scored to tie the game early in the third and defenseman Dennis Seidenberg netted the game-winner near the midway point with his third goal of the season and first since Dec. 28.
"No doubt that goal from Lucic late in the second period certainly made our task a lot easier in the third period," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien.
"It's always nice to get back on a winning note," Thomas said. "Hopefully the good feeling from the win will carry over."
Boston, which is 7-1-1 in its past nine at home, is eligible to have Andrew Ference back in the lineup this evening after he wrapped up a three-game suspension on Tuesday. The defenseman was given the ban for a hit versus the Rangers on Jan. 21.