RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Reilly Smith and Carl Soderberg had a goal and an assist each in the first period, and the Boston Bruins beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 on Monday night.
Johnny Boychuk scored midway through the third period, and Milan Lucic added an empty-net goal for Boston, which has 11 points in its last seven games (5-1-1).
Tuomo Ruutu scored his first goal of the season with 4.8 seconds left in the opening period.
Boston killed four Carolina power plays, including 63 seconds when the Bruins were down two skaters. They haven’t allowed a power-play goal in 32 short-handed situations since giving up goals on five consecutive power plays in October.
Carolina has scored only one goal in its last 21 power plays.
The Hurricanes played their first game since Oct. 24 with Cam Ward in net. Ward, who missed 10 games because of a leg injury, made 27 saves. He rebounded from a rough start in which he gave up two goals on Boston’s first four shots.
Tuukka Rask stopped 23 shots for Boston.
Smith gave Boston an early lead with a power-play goal 2:31 into the game. Loui Eriksson passed to Soderberg, who found Smith in front for a one-timer that got past Ward for his third goal.
Soderberg redirected a shot by defenseman Dennis Seidenberg to put Boston ahead 2-0 midway through the first period.
Since the 2010-11 season, the Bruins are 100-6-6 in games in which they have a two-goal lead.
The Hurricanes netted their only goal when a pass from Eric Staal went off the skate of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron and caromed to Ruutu, who nudged the puck past Rask.
NOTES: With Ward activated from the injured list, the Hurricanes reassigned goalie Mike Murphy to Charlotte (AHL). . Ward is 12-12-2 against Boston in 26 games. . Carolina center Jordan Staal played in his 500th NHL game. . Boston’s Loui Eriksson extended his point streak to six games with an assist on Smith’s goal. . Boston defenseman Adam McQuaid missed his fourth consecutive game. . The teams will meet again Saturday in Boston. . The announced attendance was 13,919.