Zdeno Chara scored his first career hat trick, Mark Stuart added a goal in his first game back and Tim Thomas earned his league-leading seventh shutout of the season with 31 saves. In all, 13 different Bruins collected points, with four players enjoying multiple-point days.
Now they just have to do it again on Tuesday as the Bruins head down to Carolina to complete the home-and-home series.
Third Period, 16:40, Bruins 7-0: Another successful penalty kill for the Bruins as Seguin is back on the ice after serving McQuaid’s extra minor.
Third Period, 14:40, Bruins 7-0: McQuaid does get the extra two for instigating, putting Carolina on the power play. Fortunately that came 20 seconds before the five-minute rule would take effect and entail an automatic one-game suspension for instigating a fight in the final five minutes.
Third Period, 14:40, Bruins 7-0: Things finally boil over as Adam McQuaid and Troy Bodie drop the gloves. It began with Bodie and Mark Stuart shoving, but McQuaid came flying in to take the battle for his defense partner, who is returning from a broken hand.
Spirited scrap with both players throwing big shots, but McQuaid landed better to take the decision as just about everything has gone Boston’s way this afternoon.
Third Period, 14:04, Bruins 7-0: Zdeno Chara completes the hat trick with a blast from the blue line through traffic in front as the Bruins extend the lead to 7-0.
Krejci and Lucic earn the assists on the captain’s first career hat trick.
Third Period, 13:21, Bruins 6-0: So much for that, as Jussi Jokinen picks up a rouging minor and Marchand tries to go back after him, but gets cut off.
Third Period, 12:40, Bruins 6-0: Things have seemed to settle down, as the Canes look like they just want this one to be over with now.
Third Period, 9:25, Bruins 6-0: Krejci with a beauty of a no-look feed out front to Seguin, but he can’t convert the chance in alone, then takes another whack from Peters.
Third Period, 7:44, Bruins 6-0: A lot of extra whacks and shts being taken behind the play by the Hurricanes. This one could get nasty before it’s over.
Third Period, 2:24, Bruins 6-0: The Bruins can’t convert the power play, but score just after it ends as Michael Ryder tips in a Dennis Seidenberg shot from the point.
Third Period, 0:18, Bruins 5-0: Maybe there will be some messages sent, as Peters pops Bergeron with a gloved punch after a save in front. Recchi comes charging in to Bergeron’s defense and a scrum develops, but Peters gets the only penalty for roughing.
Third Period, 0:00, Bruins 5-0: The final frame is under way, as the Bruins look to close out this win and the homestand in style.
It will be interesting to see if the Hurricanes try to send any messages with some physical play in the third as the clubs meet again Tuesday night in Carolina to complete the home-and-home series.
Second Intermission Notes: Twenty minutes to go for the Bruins to finish off an impressive homestand.
They’ve dominated the first two periods in this one, with contributions from all four lines and the defense.
Mark Stuart has a goal and is a plus-3 in his return after missing 18 games with a broken hand, while Patrice Bergeron has continued his torrid scoring with a goal and an assist. Nine different Bruins have points, with Zdeno Chara and Adam McQuaid joining Bergeron with two-point games.
End Second Period, Bruins 5-0: Another strong period in the books for Boston, which extended its lead to a commanding 5-0 margin heading into the third.
Second Period, 17:56, Bruins 5-0: Blake Wheeler nearly scores shorthanded, then gets tackled by Carolina goalie Justin Peters. Peters gets called for holding, and it will be 4 on 4 for 46 seconds before a Bruins’ power play.
Second Period, 16:40, Bruins 5-0: The Bruins will have another penalty to kill as Michael Ryder is called for holding.
Second Period, 16:04, Bruins 5-0: The Bruins add another 13 seconds later as Patrice Bergeron fires in a wrister from the slot just inside the near left post.
Second Period, 15:51, Bruins 4-0: The Bruins strike again, with the fourth line providing a highlight-reel goal to make it 4-0.
Shawn Thornton stopped short along the right boards and feed it in front to Greg Campbell, who batted it in with his back to the net as he was falling from a hit by Ruutu.
Second Period, 13:35, Bruins 3-0: The Bruins have done a much better job with the puck in this one with no giveaways in the first after being charged with 16 on Saturday against Pittsburgh, but Savard just coughed it up in front there, giving Patrick Dwyer a chance that Thomas deflected up into the netting.
Second Period, 12:26, Bruins 3-0: The Bruins kill off that penalty as well, and Bergeron nearly scored shorthanded in front off a feed from Recchi.
Second Period, 10:26, Bruins 3-0: The Bruins go back on the penalty kill as Nathan Horton is called for tripping.
Second Period, 8:16, Bruins 3-0: Tim Thomas needs to get some work done on his mask, getting repairs at the bench after a flurry of stops to keep Carolina off the board.
Second Period, 6:55, Bruins 3-0: McQuaid continues his nice game in this one, clearing a puck off the goal line behind Thomas to keep it 3-0.
Second Period, 5:39, Bruins 3-0: The Bruins continue to buzz the net, creating plenty of scoring chances. The Savard-Ryder-Horton line was particularly active that last shift, creating multiple quality bids on Peters.
Second Period, 1:20, Bruins 3-0: Tuomo Ruutu sends Boychuk head first into the boards behind the Bruins net. No call on the play and Boychuk bounces up no worse for wear.
Second Period, 0:24, Bruins 3-0: The Bruins finish off that penalty kill and get a scoring chance out of it after Boychuk comes out of the box.
Second Period, 0:00, Bruins 3-0: The middle frame is under way, with the Bruins needing to kill off the final 14 seconds of Johnny Boychuk’s interference minor.
First Intermission Notes: The Bruins couldn’t have asked for a better first period than that. Even when Milan Lucic’s goal was wiped out by a Zdeno Chara penalty, Chara comes right out of the box to score on a 2-on-1 break anyway.
Big day for the defense so far, with Chara scoring two goals, Mark Stuart scoring his first of the year in his first game back from a broken hand and Adam McQuaid collecting two assists for the first multiple-point game of his career.
Tim Thomas has stopped all 12 shots he’s faced, including some big saves early on a Carolina power play. Cam Ward, meanwhile, was chased from the game after 11:28, allowing two goals on five shots, plus the Lucic goal that didn’t count. Justin Peters has allowed just one goal on 10 shots, and that was on a two-man advantage for the Bruins.
End First Period, Bruins 3-0: The first period comes to a close with the Bruins holding a 3-0 lead.
They nearly made it 4-0 with a shorthanded bid by Blake Wheeler from David Krejci in the closing seconds, but Justin Peters made the save.
First Period, 18:14, Bruins 3-0: Johnny Boychuk gets called for interference, and also gets kicked in the head by Jeff Skinner as the two both go down on a hit in the neutral zone.
First Period, 17:53, Bruins 3-0: Horton almost makes it 4-0, but is denied on a point-blank bid in front.
First Period, 15:58, Bruins 3-0: The Bruins continue to pour it on, as Zdeno Chara scores his second of the day on the 5-on-3 power play.
Chara scored this one from the right circle on a one-timer off a feed from David Krejci, who set him up with a pass from the left corner. Patrice Bergeron also picked up an assist on the play.
First Period, 15:31, Bruins 2-0: The Bruins will get a two-man advantage for the next 1:33 as Eric Staal is called for hooking as well.
First Period, 15:04, Bruins 2-0: The Bruins will get their first power play of the day as Carolina’s Ryan Carter is sent off for hooking.
First Period, 14:00, Bruins 2-0: Excellent shift from the Bergeron line, with Bergeron and Marchand working some magic down low to create multiple scoring chances.
First Period, 11:28, Bruins 2-0: After giving up two goals on five shots, Cam Ward has been pulled for Justin Peters.
First Period, 11:28, Bruins 2-0: Chara makes up for that penalty as he scores on a 2-on-1 break out of the box after the Bruins killed off his slashing call with some big saves by Thomas.
Chara broke in down the left side with Mark Recchi on the right, but Chara took the shot himself, scoring from the left circle.
First Period, 9:15, Bruins 1-0: Milan Lucic almost made it a perfect return for both injured Bruins back in this one, as he fires home a shot from the slot. But the goal is waved off for a slashing penalty to Chara.
First Period, 7:56, Bruins 1-0: Mark Stuart wastes no time making an impact in his return, putting Boston on the board with his first goal of the year.
Stuart fired in a one-timer from the left point off a pass by Nathan Horton with Michael Ryder providing the screen in front.
First Period, 4:20, 0-0: Steven Kampfer not showing any effects on his vision from the full cage he’s wearing to protect his broken nose, as he makes a nice play to intercept Tuomo Ruutu’s pass intended for Jeff Skinner in front of the net.
First Period, 2:55, 0-0: Brad Marchand had a chance with speed down the left wing, but gets taken out by referee Stephane Auger in a collision along the boards. Best hit of the day so far goes to the ref.
First Period, 2:08, 0-0: Lucic and Stuart each on for their first shifts back from injury at the same time early in this one.
First Period, 0:00, 0-0: This one is under way, as the Bruins look to close out a four-game homestand in style as they open a home-and-home series with Carolina.
1 p.m.: The Bruins will open this one with Patrice Bergeron, who was named the second star of the week for the NHL earlier in the day, at center between Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi, with Zdeno Chara and Steven Kampfer on defense and Tim Thomas in goal.
Carolina counters with ex-Bruin Sergei Samsonov up front alongside Erik Cole and Eric Staal, with Joni Pitkanen and Jamie McBain on the blue line and Cam Ward in net.
12:55 p.m.: The scratches are in, and Daniel Paille is out as expected, along with Andrew Ference (upper body).
Jiri Tlusty (upper body) remains out for Carolina.
12:40 p.m.: The Bruins unveiled some new line combinations in warm-ups with Milan Lucic back.
Here’s how they looked in the warm-up drills:
So even with Lucic back, the top line remains unchanged with Michael Ryder, Marc Savard and Nathan Horton staying together after showing some chemistry of late. Brad Marchand also gets to stay up on a scoring line with Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi. Lucic comes back on the third line with David Krejci and Tyler Seguin, bumping Blake Wheeler down to the fourth line with Greg Campbell and Shawn Thornton, while Daniel Paille was the odd man out. He skated in warm-ups but not in the line drills, so it appears he will be the scratch.
On defense, Zdeno Chara and Steven Kampfer stayed together, as did Dennis Seidenberg and Johnny Boychuk, with Mark Stuart skating with Adam McQuaid on the third pair.
12:30 p.m.: Tim Thomas and Cam Ward led their respective teams out on to the ice for warm-ups.
That will be the goaltending matchup in this one as expected.
12 p.m.: The Bruins will have Milan Lucic and Mark Stuart back in the lineup when they take on Carolina in about an hour.
Both have been medically cleared to return, but Andrew Ference will remain out.
Tim Thomas gets the start in goal.
6 a.m.: The Bruins close out their four-game homestand with the start of a home-and-home series with Carolina in a Martin Luther King Day matinee at the Garden.
The Bruins opened the homestand with back-to-back wins over Ottawa and Philadelphia before dropping a 3-2 decision to Pittsburgh on Saturday. Now the Bruins will look to bounce back before hitting the road for three of their next four games.
It won’t be easy though, as Carolina is one of the hottest teams in the league of late. The Hurricanes have gone 7-1-2 in their last 10 games to move into ninth place in the East, just one point out of the final playoff spot and only five points behind Boston.
“They’re at our heels right now and they’re playing really well,” Bruins forward Greg Campbell said after Saturday’s loss. “I’ve been watching their games a little bit and they’re playing really well so it’s not going to be easy back to back. We’ve played a lot of games you know we’re just gonna have to regroup here and not hang our heads, just continue.”
The Bruins should get some reinforcements for the game, as Milan Lucic could return after missing the last three games with an undisclosed game and Mark Stuart was activated from injured reserve on Sunday after missing 18 games with a broken hand. Steven Kampfer is also expected to play despite suffering a broken nose on Saturday.
Carolina already owns one matinee win over the Bruins this year, beating Boston 3-0 the day after Thanksgiving as Cam Ward made 37 saves for the shutout and Jeff Skinner, Tuomu Ruutu and Jussi Jokinen each scored power-play goals.
“I think this is a pretty good team that is probably flying under the radar a little bit,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “They’ve been playing very good hockey. They’re a team that skates extremely well. They’re a team that goes to the net hard and really creates a lot of havoc around the net area. I think there’s a lot of respect for that team and we know it’s going to be a tough home and home.”
The puck drops at 1 p.m. for the front end of this two-game set with the Hurricanes, so check back here throughout the day for updates on all the action.