RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Eric Staal had two goals, and Justin Williams added a short-handed tally following a nifty pass by Rod Brind’Amour to help the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Boston Bruins 5-2 on Saturday night.

Erik Cole and Ray Whitney also scored for the Hurricanes, the only NHL team with six 10-goal scorers this season. Cam Ward made 17 saves and held Boston scoreless in the final two periods.

Shean Donovan and Brad Stuart scored for the Bruins, who had a three-game winning streak snapped but still have won eight of 11 to get over .500 in the Northeast Division. It was Boston’s second loss to Carolina in barely more than a week.

Unlike that one, a convincing 5-1 victory for the Hurricanes on Nov. 24, the rematch was tight for the first 40 minutes. The Bruins led 2-1 at the end of the first period before Cole tied it with a spectacular effort early in the second.

He dived to the ice to block a slap shot from the blue line from Stuart, then raced the length of the ice to beat Stuart and Jason York to the puck. Cole skated in alone on goalie Tim Thomas and beat him cleanly to make it 2-2.

Williams gave Carolina the lead with the help of Brind’Amour, the gritty captain who seemingly never leaves the ice. With teammate Anton Babchuk in the penalty box, Brind’Amour intercepted a pass at the point and waited patiently for Williams to get behind the defense.

Once he did, Brind’Amour led him perfectly with the puck, and Williams did the rest for a 3-2 Carolina advantage. Staal and Whitney added insurance goals early in the third period for the Hurricanes, who begin a four-game road trip through the Western Conference on Tuesday night in Calgary.

Staal’s first goal came barely more than 21/2 minutes following the opening faceoff, when he doggedly put back a rebound on his second try. Donovan evened the score for the Bruins with a deft move around the Carolina defense before beating Ward with a wrist shot.

Boston took its only lead when Stuart whacked the puck in following Ward’s saves on shots from Marco Sturm and Patrice Bergeron.

Notes: Donovan and Carolina LW Andrew Ladd both went to the penalty box early after a fight only two minutes into the first period. Ladd decked Mark Stuart with a clean check, and Donovan took exception. Bergeron tallied an assist to increase his career-best point streak to nine games.

AP-ES-12-02-06 2134EST


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