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hurricanes 5, bruins 3

On Whalers night, not much looked right for the Bruins

The Bruins' Brad Marchand (63) chases the puck with the Hurricanes' Lucas Wallmark (71) in pursuit.Karl B. DeBlaker/Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. — On a night Carolina celebrated its Hartford heritage, the Bruins lost, 5-3, to a team masquerading as a spruced-up version of the 1980s Whalers.

After Boston pumped in two goals on its first eight shots, “Brass Bonanza,” the old romper that rang through the halls of the Civic Center, sounded for four straight goals at PNC Arena, its red seats dotted with the kelly green of the old Adams Division also-rans.

Hurricanes fans, in great holiday cheer, were happy to stomp around as their faux-vintage club scored a pair of shorthanded goals against the Bruins (20-13-4), and reached under Boston’s tree for several presents after falling behind, 2-0, at 8:56 of the first period. The Hurricanes (15-15-5) outscored the visitors, 5-1, the rest of the way.


“Focus, execution,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “I’m not going to hide from it. We made some bad plays that wound up in the back of our net.”

So it went, the Bruins headed to the three-day break unable to make good on a 2-0 first-period lead, a three-game winning streak snapped at the hands of a team that was 2-6-2 in its last 10 and frustrated with its popgun offense.

Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour, who arrived here as a player in 2000, three years after the Whalers left Hartford, was hoping the old-style jerseys would spark his team. “It’ll be a welcome change,” he said before the game. “We’ve been in a rut . . . It’ll be nice to see something different.”

Something different for the Bruins was a loss, after a 3-0-0 run, in a game in which Ryan Donato scored a pair of goals and Steven Kampfer added one.

The Black and Gold hadn’t allowed four straight since losing, 5-0, at Florida on Dec. 4. Carolina’s pair of Flying Finns, Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen, each tied career highs with 4-point nights (2-2—4) and each collected a shorthanded goal.


Carolina’s Sebastian Aho celebrates his second-period goal.Karl B DeBlaker/Associated Press

Defenseman Justin Faulk, he of one goal in his first 34 games, also beat Tuukka Rask with a heavily screened shot from the point.

For the Bruins, Donato provided most of the merriment. He scored a power-play goal 2:40 in, fired a heavy wrister past Whalercanes netminder Petr Mrazek in the second, and drew two penalties. It was the first two-goal game of his career, against a team wearing the same uniforms that gave his father, Ted, fond memories. Ted Donato registered a two-goal game Jan. 2, 1997, against Hartford, a few months before the Whalers bolted.

“The first one he was around the net, getting his nose dirty,” Cassidy said of Donato’s power-play goal. Of the second: “I was happy to see him get one off . . . that’s his bread and butter, his shot.”

Bruin Ryan Donato (17) battles between Hurricanes Brock McGinn (23) Calvin de Haan (44), and goaltender Petr Mrazek (34) for the puck.Karl B DeBlaker/Associated Press

After the Bruins killed a five on three in the first (Kampfer, holding, and Noel Acciari, high sticking), Kampfer added to the Bruins’ lead at 8:56 of the first. His seeing-eye shot from the point eluded Mrazek.

The first time “Brass Bonanza” was heard after warm-ups: at 12:55 of the second, when Teravainen threw a bad-angle shot toward Rask. E6 on defenseman Charlie McAvoy, who was standing too close to Rask in front, tried to glove the puck and throw it away, but deflected it into the net.

“A really bad 20 minutes of hockey for me,” said McAvoy, who finished minus-4 for the first time in his career, but was upbeat. “Never too high, never too low . . . That’s hockey. It’s not the first, and it won’t be the last.”


Cassidy said McAvoy is typically astute at parking a bad period, but “he never got it back tonight. It’s unfortunate, because you rely on those guys.”

Bruin David Pastrnak (88) moves the puck in front of Carolina’s Brock McGinn (23) during the second period.Karl B DeBlaker/Associated Press

The Bruins were poised to make it 3-1 when Carolina rookie Andrei Svechnikov clocked defenseman Torey Krug in the helmet with his stick near the end of the first. But on the fresh ice early in the second, after a shorthanded clear, Teravainen got the better of McAvoy again. He outmuscled the Boston defenseman along the boards and hit Aho in the high slot, Finn-to-Finn. Aho’s sweeping finish trickled through the Finnish netminder 1:29 into the middle period.

“I was disappointed with the lack of response after their first goal,” Patrice Bergeron said. “I thought before that, it was everything we wanted to accomplish.”

It was a busy second. The Hurricanes got an even-strength score from Aho, on a trailing pass from Teravainen, at 7:11. Faulk, the blue liner, sailed one top shelf at 11:47, with Krug and Hurricanes forward Clark Bishop tangled in front of Rask.

At 16:05, Donato made it 4-3 when he took a drop from center Colby Cave, stickhandled once in front of Faulk, and ripped a wrister past Mrazek from the top of the circle.

But the Bruins, who had not allowed two shorthanded goals since Nov. 5, 2016, against the Rangers, gave up a rough one. Rask, trying to stickhandle behind his net, left it on his post. Aho nearly had the hat trick, but he shot it into Rask’s legs, as the goalie turned his back to the play. Teravainen cleaned up the mess at 7:20.


“Huge mistake by me,” said Rask, not an expert puckhandler. “An early Christmas gift for the fellow Finns.”

The Bruins had a six on four with 2:40 left, when Svechnikov boarded McAvoy and Rask headed for the bench. But the Bruins, 1 for 4 on the power play until then, set up for a precious few seconds. Much of the crowd of 17,491, the largest at PNC Arena since opening night, stayed until the end, reveling in the vintage performance.