With his father in attendance, Matt Beleskey turned in his second two-goal effort in three games Friday night to power the Boston Bruins past the Carolina Hurricanes.
Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand also provided a goal apiece, and Tuukka Rask stopped 39 of the 40 shots he faced as the Bruins took home a 4-1 road win at PNC Arena.
The victory improved the B’s to 21-7-3 in games away from TD Garden this season, the second-best road mark in the NHL.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Beleskey’s second goal of the night whizzed past Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward to give the Bruins a 3-1 lead with 13:36 remaining in the third period.
The bruising winger has five goals in his last four games after scoring eight in his first 56. In fact, all three of Boston’s third-liners have been hot of late, with Beleskey, center Ryan Spooner and right wing Jimmy Hayes combining for eight points (five goals, three assists) over the last three games.
Marchand sealed the deal with an empty-netter — his team-leading 32nd goal of the season.
OPENING IT UP EARLY
The Bruins took a 2-0 lead into first intermission thanks to goals by Bergeron and Beleskey.
Bergeron, who was playing in his 800th career game, got things started when he intercepted a Ward pass behind the Carolina net and then roofed a shot past the Hurricanes netminder at the 10:26 mark of the opening period.
Brett Connolly, who deflected the puck back to Bergeron after the center got a piece of it, was credited with an assist.
Beleskey added to Boston’s cushion just over two minutes later, employing a self pass to maneuver around defenseman Michal Jordan before firing a tough-angle shot past Ward.
Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask stopped the first 26 shots he faced but could not get his body in front of the 27th.
Noah Hanifin, a Boston College product and Norwood, Mass., native, got Carolina on the board with a power-play goal early in the third period. Hanifin’s shot missed the net but bounced in off the stick of Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller, who was battling for position with Victor Rask to the left of the crease.
That proved to be the only blemish on Rask’s stat line, as he went on to shut out the Canes the rest of the way. Eighteen of his 39 saves came in the third period, including two crucial ones on Kris Versteeg during a Carolina power play.
Rask has faced 82 shots over the Bruins’ last two games and surrendered just two goals.
The trip to Carolina was a fathers trip for the Bruins, their first since 2006. Bergeron brought his grandfather along, and he seemed to thoroughly enjoy witnessing his grandson’s first-period goal.
Boston’s top line of Bergeron, Connolly and Marchand dominated possession throughout the game.
David Pastrnak was slow getting to the bench after taking a Loui Eriksson shot off the foot during the second period.
A broken foot suffered in a similar incident cost the Bruins winger nearly two months of his season, but he appeared to avoid injury this time around, returning to the ice without missing a shift.
A hugely important divisional tilt awaits the Bruins on Sunday evening, as the Tampa Bay Lightning visit TD Garden. The teams currently are tied for second place in the Atlantic Division with 74 points apiece.
Thumbnail photo via James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports Images