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Bruins beat Hurricanes in matchup of playoff-bound teams

Boston Bruins Carolina hurricanes Brad Marchand, Frederik Andersen - The Canadian Press

RALEIGH, N.C. -- — David Pastrnak and Danton Heinen each had a goal and an assist in the first period and the Boston Bruins beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 on Thursday night.

Brad Marchand had the game’s first goal for the 400th of his career, Hampus Lindholm added an empty-netter and Jeremy Swayman made 27 saves for Boston.

The Bruins won their third game in a row and moved four points in front of the Hurricanes, who have a game in hand, in a matchup of Eastern Conference playoff-bound teams. Boston finished a six-game road stretch at 4-2-0.

“You have to be able to win on the road,” Marchand said. “It’s the way you want to play. You want to play these tough games coming down the stretch.”

It was the first loss in more than five months for Carolina goalie Frederik Andersen, who had gone 7-0-0 since returning to action following a health issue that kept him off the ice since early November. He made 24 saves.

Andersen, in his 100th game as a Hurricane, fell to 11-2-0 this season.

Carolina’s Jake Guentzel scored on a 5-on-3 power play in the second period, but the Hurricanes were left without a point for just the second time in their last 11 games.

“We let their best players kind of get behind us and give them all that open ice,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “They’re not going to give us too much after that.”

Marchand, in his 1,024th game took Morgan Geekie’s pass to go in on Andersen, who initially blocked the shot, but the puck got under his pads and into the net just 2:12 into the game. He had gone 10 games without a goal.

“Kind of the elephant in the room,” Marchand said about reaching a milestone. “Nice to get it and I don’t have to worry about it anymore.”

It was Marchand’s 19th goal this season. Geekie, a former Hurricane, increased his career-high assists total to 20.

Pastrnak skated in patiently from the left side and wasn’t challenged before popping the puck over Andersen from close range for his team-leading 47th goal of the season.

Heinen one-timed a pass from Pastrnak for his 16th goal, giving the Bruins a 3-0 edge less than 11 minutes into the game.

“In the first period, we executed really well,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said. “Caught them on some odd-man rushes, made some high-end plays.”

Swayman stopped all nine shots he faced in the third.

“It is important to us when we do get leads that we maintain them,” Swayman said.

Guentzel lifted the puck over Swayman, who was laying across the crease, to score at 15:12 of the second. Guentzel has 25 goals this season, including three in 12 games since joining the Hurricanes in a trade from Pittsburgh.

The Bruins played without winger Justin Brazeau, who was injured Tuesday night in Nashville and returned to Boston for evaluation. He hadn’t missed a game in more than a month.

Hurricanes forward Jesper Fast was back on the ice after missing six games with an injury.


Bruins: Host Florida on Saturday.

Hurricanes: Host Washington on Friday night.