Tim Thomas Continues to Shine, Nathan Horton, Daniel Paille End Droughts As Bruins Edge Carolina 3-2

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Tim Thomas Continues to Shine, Nathan Horton, Daniel Paille End Droughts As Bruins Edge Carolina 3-2 Final, Bruins 3-2: The Bruins hold on for the one-goal victory, surviving some tense moments late as Tim Thomas came up with some big saves again to preserve the win.

Thomas finished with 25 saves as the Bruins outshot Carolina 33-27. Daniel Paille scored his first goal of the season and Nathan Horton scored his first in 11 games, but it was Patrice Bergeron's goal that held up as the game-winner.

The Bruins return home on Thursday to host Dallas at the Garden.

Third Period, 18:28, Bruins 3-2: Ward is out for the extra attacker. The Bruins have an empty net to shoot at.

Third Period, 16:53, Bruins 3-2: Thomas comes up with a pair of huge back-to-back saves to rob Cole and Sutter and keep the Bruins ahead.

Third Period, 15:05, Bruins 3-2: Paille nearly scored his second of the night – and the season – as he comes out of the left corner for a stuff-in attempt in front, but Ward denies him.

Third Period, 12:40, Bruins 3-2: The Canes come within inches of tying it as Brandon Sutter sends Jiri Tlusty in at the left post, but Thomas got a piece of Tlusty's bid and it clanged off the near post and stayed out.

Third Period, 11:20, Bruins 3-2: The Bruins struggling to clear the zone as Carolina presses for the equalizer. Lots of energy for the Canes since that power-play goal.

Third Period, 8:05, Bruins 3-2: The Canes convert with eight seconds left on the power play, as Joe Corvo fires in a shot from the left point with Erik Cole screening Thomas in front.

Third Period, 6:13, Bruins 3-1: The Bruins will have another penalty to kill off, as Brad Marchand is sent off for holding after pulling down Jeff Skinner.

Third Period, 5:06, Bruins 3-1: The Bruins extend the lead further as Patrice Bergeron fires in a shot from the high right slot with Brad Marchand providing the screen in front.

Mark Recchi and Andrew Ference pick up the assists.

Third Period, 3:54, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins take the lead again as Nathan Horton finally ends his drought.

Horton scored at the left post off a feed from behind the net by David Krejci.That is Horton's first goal in 11 games and second in 21 games.

That came just after Thomas came out of the net to rob Eric Staal at the other end.

Third Period, 1:32, 1-1: Ian White with a blast just wide off a nice setup from Samsonov.

Third Period, 0:00, 1-1: The final frame is under way in Raleigh. The Bruins are just 3-5-2 when tied after two periods this season, while Carolina is 6-2-4 when tied after two.

Second Intermission Notes: The second period was even again, with both teams striking once to take a 1-1 tie into the third. The Canes had an 8-6 edge in shots in the second, but Boston still leads 21-18 overall.

Was hoping to see that first-period fight spark a big effort for Lucic, but he's been invisible other than that bout. Lucic has no shots and no hits through 40 minutes.

The Bruins are dominating the faceoff battle, winning 30 of 40 draws (75 percent) so far. Greg Campbell is 7-0 to go along with three hots, while Patrice Bergeron is 10-2 and Blake Wheeler, back at center in this one, is 3-1.

End Second Period, 1-1: It's all even after two, as the Bruins and Canes traded goals in the middle frame and will have to settle this one in the third.

Second Period, 18:29, 1-1: Marchand with a bid from the left wing as he's sent in by Recchi, but Ward makes the stop.

Second Period, 16:20, 1-1: Ruutu is back for more, as he shoves with Johnny Boychuk in front after driving hard to the net once again.

Second Period, 13:06, 1-1: The Canes definitely have all the momentum here, as they're buzzing around the Bruins net with several good scoring chances.

McQuaid sends Ruutu flying in front after Thomas tied up the puck after the last flurry. That's the second time Ruutu has been dumped on his rear after crashing the net in this one, with Chara doing the honors in the first period.

Second Period, 11:25, 1-1: The Canes answer back as ex-Bruin Sergei Samsonov dances through the Boston zone, sending a shot in that Jamie McBain taps in behind Thomas at the left post.

Second Period, 8:51, Bruins 1-0: Horton comes oh so close to finally getting a goal to end his drought, as he makes a great move at the blue line and fires a shot that Ward gets enough of a piece of to keep it out.

Second Period, 8:07, Bruins 1-0: More excellent penalty killing by the Bruins, especially Marchand, and Thomas made the one big save he needed to late to maintain the one-goal lead.

Second Period, 6:07, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins will have to kill off another penalty to maintain their lead, as Blake Wheeler is sent off for delay of game after flipping the puck over the glass.

Second Period, 4:14, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins strike first as the fourth line once again delivers, this time with Daniel Paille scoring his first of the season.

Paille deflected a shot in front after Chara fired it in from the left point.

Second Period, 3:50, 0-0: Solid shift by the Bergeron line after Carolina had come out strong to start the period.

Second Period, 1:00, 0-0: Bad news for the Canes, as forward Jussi Jokinen is questionable to return to the game with a lower-body injury. Jokinen is fourth on the team with 38 points.

Second Period, 0:00, 0-0: The middle frame is under way in Raleigh, with the Bruins and Canes still each looking for that elusive first goal.

First Intermission Notes: Quite a difference from the last game played on this ice surface. The All-Stars combined for 21 goals in Raleigh on Sunday, but the goaltending was the story in the opening period of this one, with Tim Thomas stopping all 10 shots he faced and Cam Ward saving all 15 shots from the Bruins.

Most of Thomas' stops came early, as the Bruins weathered the Hurricanes' early storm and killed off two penalties. The Bruins then took over momentum late, but Ward denied them on a number of quality chances.

There was no shortage of physical play, with Carolina holding a 14-10 edge in hits. Milan Lucic fought for the first time in 42 games, taking on Jay Harrison, while Steven Kampfer delivered the hit of the night on Jeff Skinner. Adam McQuaid is also showing why he deserves to stay in the lineup even with Mark Stuart healthy as he delivered a couple of huge hits, blasting Sergei Samsonov in the corner and taking out Troy Bodie at center ice. McQuaid also came up with a big block of a Skinner shot from the left circle.

Zdeno Chara leads all players with six shots, though none have quite reached the 105.9 mph he unleashed to win the hardest shot contest on Saturday.

End First Period, 0-0: The first period is in the books with no scoring but plenty of action. Steven Kampfer provided the exclamation point for that as he blasted fellow rookie Jeff Skinner with a beautiful hit as the period ended.

First Period, 17:51, 0-0: The Bruins nearly strike first with a pair of chances, but Ward robs Blake Wheeler with a glove save at the left post off a sweet feed from Shawn Thornton, then Bergeron is denied on a one-timer in the slot from Recchi.

First Period, 16:08, 0-0: The gloves are off, as Milan Lucic's long fight drought is finally over. He takes on Jay Harrison for his first fight since the sixth game of the season.

Both landed a couple in an even bout, but Lucic did show some rust as Harrison was a guy he beat handily and left a bloody mess in a bout early last season.

First Period, 14:12, 0-0: Some action in front as Thomas ties up the puck in a scramble in the crease. Chara then sends Ruutu flying with a shove, but nothing further develops and no penalties are called.

First Period, 12:44, 0-0: Michael Ryder with a rush down the right side, fighting off a check to get a shot on goal, but Ward makes the save.

First Period, 10:59, 0-0: The Bruins kill off that penalty as well, with Marchand nearly sending Greg Campbell in for a shorthanded bid.

First Period, 8:59, 0-0: The Bruins will be shorthanded again, as Michael Ryder goes off for interference.

First Period, 7:20, 0-0: Lots of energy early, as this one has opened with a frenetic pace. The Bruins are throwing their weight around pretty good too, with Mcquaid and Nathan Horton each delivering good hits.

First Period, 3:30, 0-0: Out of the box Paille has a breakaway and beats Ward, but the puck clangs off the left post.

First Period, 3:14, 0-0: The Bruins are able to kill off that penalty, thanks to some big saves by Thomas early in the man-advantage, as he stopped Tuomo Ruutu and Jussi Jokinen, then Ference blocked another shot as Thomas lost his mask.

First Period, 1:14, 0-0: The Canes get an early power-play chance as Daniel Paille is called for hooking.

First Period, 0:36, 0-0: Zdeno Chara launches his first slapper of the night. Not quite the 105.9 mph blast he had on Saturday, and Ward is able to snare it with the glove.

First Period, 0:00, 0-0: The unofficial second half of the season kicks off with Patrice Bergeron between Brad Marchand and birthday boy Mark Recchi starting up front for the Bruins. Andrew Ference and Adam McQuaid start on defense, with Tim Thomas in goal.

Carolina counters with Sergei Samsonov, Eric Staal and Eric Cole up front, Tim Gleason and Joe Corvo on the blue line and Cam Ward in net.

7 p.m.: No surprises with the scratches, with Mark Stuart out for a fourth straight game as expected.

Marc Savard obviously remains out as well with a concussion. Carolina does not have any scratches, as they are going with the minimum 20-man roster.

6:45 p.m.: The Bruins and Hurricanes are meeting for the third time in the two weeks, but they won't play again this season unless the meet in the playoffs.

The Bruins swept a home-and-home series two weeks ago, so Carolina will be plenty motivated for this one, especially since they enter the night just one point out of the final playoff spot in the East.

6 p.m.: The Bruins are just about ready to get back to game action after the All-Star break, as they take on the Hurricanes in Raleigh.

Tim Thomas was the first goalie off the ice, indicating he will get the start in this one, while Mark Stuart was the last skater off the ice at the morning skate. With Stuart getting extra work, it appears he will be the healthy scratch for the fourth game in a row.

Carolina is expected to have Cam Ward in goal, so it will be a matchup of two All-Star netminders in this one.

8 a.m.: The Bruins got to work on Monday after four days off for the All-Star break, returning to Ristuccia Arena for practice. Now they'll begin the real work as they open the stretch drive of the season with their first of 32 post-break games with a trip down South to face the Hurricanes on Tuesday.

Two Bruins never left Carolina, as Zdeno Chara and Tim Thomas remained in Raleigh after participating in the All-Star festivities there over the weekend. The rest of the club hopes to enjoy the kind of success that duo had this weekend.

Chara broke his own record with a 105.9 mph blast to win the hardest shot competition for the fourth straight time on Saturday, while Thomas set a record by earning the win in goal for the third straight All-Star Game as Team Lidstrom edged Team Staal 11-10.

Carolina captain Eric Staal is likely a little less happy about how things played out in the All-Star Game before his home fans, and he's certainly not happy with the Bruins' sweep of a home-and-home series with Carolina two weeks ago.

Boston rolled to a 7-0 win at home on Jan. 17 as Thomas made 31 saves for the shutout and Chara collected his first career hat trick. It was much closer the next night in Raleigh, but Boston prevailed again 3-2 on a Milan Lucic power-play goal in the third period.

Staal, who leads Carolina with 25-27-52 totals in 50 games this year, has had plenty of success in the past against the Bruins though, with 11-14-25 totals in 27 games. Fellow All-Stars Cam Ward, who made 37 saves to shut out the Bruins back on Nov. 26, and Jeff Skinner also have tormented the Bruins at times. Skinner was the youngest player in the All-Star Game after putting up 18-22-40 totals in 50 games, with the rookie collecting 1-2-3 totals and a game-winner in three games against Boston.

The Bruins can counter with Patrice Bergeron, who's even hotter of late. He was named the NHL's No. 1 Star for January on Monday after finishing the month with 8-9-17 totals and a plus-13 in 14 games.

The puck drops at 7 p.m., so check back here throughout the day for updates on all the action.

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