RALEIGH, N.C. — Tim Thomas came out on top in a matchup of All-Star goalies.
Nathan Horton and Patrice Bergeron scored early in the third period and Thomas made 24 saves for Boston to help the Bruins beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 Tuesday night.
Daniel Paille also scored for Boston, giving the Bruins three wins in their four meetings with Carolina this season.
Carolina’s Cam Ward stopped 31 shots, but came out on the losing end.
“We found a way to win against a hungry team that’s battling to get into a playoff spot,” Thomas said. “They played good, and we played pretty good defensively but weren’t getting too much started. We went into the third and found a way to win.”
Jamie McBain and Joe Corvo scored for Carolina goals. Corvo’s scoring streak stretched to six games.
Carolina’s Jay Harrison and Boston’s Milan Lucic fought late in the first period.
Hurricanes forward Jussi Jokinen left the game with a lower-body injury in the first period and did not return.
Boston outshot the Hurricanes 15-10 in the scoreless first period despite two Carolina power plays.
Thomas improved to 25-5-6.
“You can’t figure out how he’s getting it done, but he’s been getting it done all year long,” Boston coach Paul Maurice said. “The save he made on (Brandon) Sutter, when he makes the spin-o-rama in the air — you can’t describe it, but you can certainly appreciate how good he’s been.”
The Bruins took the lead at even strength at 4:14 of the second, as Paille scored his first goal of the season on a deflection of Zdeno Chara’s blast from the left point.
Carolina tied it on a rush at 11:25, when Sergei Samsonov set up McBain for an easy tip-in on the stick-side doorstep for his fourth goal of the season.
The Bruins made it 2-1 at 3:54 of the third, as Horton flicked the puck across the crease and Ward’s left shoulder on a primary assist from David Krejci.
And it quickly went to 3-1 at 5:06, as Bergeron beat a screened Ward from the high slot with Mark Recchi on the first assist.
“It’s nice to win games,” said Chara, who had two assists. “Give Carolina credit. They play a high-tempo, speedy skill game and they put a lot of pressure on you. We found a way to put a lot of shots on Ward, who was basically playing unbelievable.”
Corvo scored a power-play goal at 8:05 when he beat Thomas glove side on a slapper from the high slot with Erik Cole on the first assist.
Notes: Hurricanes captain Eric Staal, who was one of the captains in Sunday’s All-Star Game here, was picked as the NHL’s first star of the week. … Boston alternate captain Recchi, who was a member of Carolina’s 2006 Stanley Cup championship team, celebrated his 43rd birthday Tuesday.
Maple Leafs 4, Panthers 3
TORONTO — Tyler Bozak and Colby Armstrong scored in a shootout and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Florida Panthers 4-3 Tuesday night.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere allowed a goal to David Booth on a nice spin move to open the shootout, but then stopped Mike Santorelli and Chris Higgins. He added 30 saves in regulation in a game between Eastern Conference also-rans.
Phil Kessel took an elbowing penalty with 4:15 remaining, and 34 seconds later Cory Stillman tied the game at 3.
Kessel had a breakaway in the final seconds but couldn’t beat Scott Clemmensen, extending his goal drought to eight games.
Kris Versteeg, Nikolai Kulemin and Mikhail Grabovski scored in regulation for the Maple Leafs, who won for the second time in eight games.
Stephen Weiss and David Booth also scored in regulation for the Panthers, who have won once in their last seven games.
Grabovski put the Leafs up 3-2 at 6:16 of the second when he redirected Kaberle’s point shot past Clemmensen on a power play.
The goal came just 1:22 after a high-sticking penalty by Jay Rosehill allowed the Panthers to tie it 4:54. Keaton Ellerby made a pretty cross-ice pass from the point to Michael Frolik at the side of the goal, and he centred it in front for Booth to tap in.
The Leafs led 2-1 after the first period.
Versteeg opened the scoring at 7:20 with a clever goal. Standing behind the net, he picked up the rebound of a failed pass out front and banked the puck in off the backside of Clemmensen, who was unsure of where the puck had gone.
The Panthers tied it up at 18:06 when Weiss took a Chris Higgins pass on a 3-on-1 rush and beat Giguere low to the stick side.
The Leafs reclaimed the lead just 23 seconds later when Clarke MacArthur dug the puck out of the corner and sent a pass to Kulemin, who wired a shot from the faceoff dot past Clemmensen’s blocker.
Leafs forward Mike Brown left the game in the second period and didn’t return. He took a heavy hit from Ellerby along the boards.
Notes: F Fredrik Sjostrom, D Brett Lebda and G Jonas Gustavsson were Toronto’s scratches. … Florida scratched Fs Shawn Matthias and Steve Bernier. … Panthers D Mike Weaver had to apologize to teammate Marty Reasoner after whacking a puck into the forward’s face after play had been stopped in the first period. Reasoner was no worse for the wear. … Kessel’s last goal was on Jan. 11 against San Jose. … Panthers captain Bryan McCabe, a former Leaf, missed the game with a broken jaw. Fans still booed during pre-game introductions.