RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A couple of rookies came up big for the Boston Bruins on Sunday.
David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist, scoring the winner on a nice centering pass from Carl Soderberg at 4:23 of overtime and the Bruins earned a 2-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.
The victory put the Bruins three points ahead of Ottawa and four up on Florida in their race for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Ottawa has a game in hand on both teams.
“I can’t say enough about (Carolina),” Boston coach Claude Julien said. “They’re a good team. It’s a little bit mind-boggling for me to see them in the position they are right now, because if they continue to progress that way, they’re going to be a team to be reckoned with.
“We had to play very big today and you could feel it. Shifts were short. I had to use my whole bench, but at the end of the day it’s about finding ways to win. We have to win games if we want to be in there and we can’t rely on others.”
Pastrnak has 40 games of NHL experience while fellow rookie Ryan Spooner — who scored for Boston early in the first period on an assist by Pastrnak — was in his 50th NHL game.
“I was just aiming to the net and fortunately it hit it,” said Pastrnak, who has 10 goals and 15 assists. “I was trying to shoot high, but (Khudobin) was coming. It went low and it was in.
“Everybody has a tough schedule right now. We need every point right now and it’s great we’ve gotten four (in two games.)”
Nathan Gerbe scored for Carolina late in the second period.
Boston goalie Tuukka Rask, who had left Saturday’s win over the New York Rangers early in the second period with what had been described as dehydration, had 30 saves.
“We’re supposed to win every game now in order to make the playoffs,” Rask said. “It’s never easy when a team (like Carolina) has lost the battle for the playoff spot but is playing good hockey. We recognized that and came out hard.
“I feel good. I had some kind of migraine (on Saturday) that we thought was dehydration at first, but then I talked to the doctors. When you can’t really see it’s tough for a goalie to stay out there. I was seeing dots and went out there and saw two number 37s taking the faceoff so I thought ‘You’ve got to get out of here.'”
Carolina’s Anton Khudobin, who played for Boston from 2011-13, stopped 28 shots.
Boston, 2-3-3 over its past eight games, is 5-0-1 in its past six games against Carolina.
“I thought we matched their intensity today if not exceeding it at times,” Carolina coach Bill Peters said. “They’re a very good team, very well-coached, and we had our looks in the third. We hit a few posts, they hit a few posts and both goaltenders were good. I thought it was a really high-end game at this time of the year.”
Boston led 1-0 at the first intermission after outshooting the Hurricanes 10-8.
Spooner got the Bruins on the board at 2:21 of the first, beating Khudobin from the top of the left circle with Pastrnak getting the primary assist.
“It was a great pass,” Spooner said. “I got the puck in the slot and there was a guy there, so I tried to go to the left. There was a guy behind me who lifted my stick up a little bit, but I just tried to get the puck on net and it went in.”
Gerbe evened the score on a rush at 19:38 of the second, taking Chris Terry’s cross-ice pass and beating Rask high over the right shoulder.
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