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Ryder and Wheeler each score in first period as Bruins rout Hurricanes 7-2

BOSTON - The Bruins came out with a lot to prove Saturday night after flaming out in their opener.

Mission accomplished.

"Night and day," goalie Tim Thomas said after Boston beat Carolina 7-2 to rebound from a 4-1 loss in Washington on Thursday night. "The first 10 minutes Thursday night we came out and played 60 minutes like that tonight."

Michael Ryder and Blake Wheeler scored 26 seconds apart in the first period and the Bruins scored four-power play goals to hammer the team that knocked them out of last season's playoffs in the second round with an overtime win in Boston in Game 7.

But the focus Saturday night wasn't really on last season but rather on what took place Thursday.

"You knew they'd be (ticked) off after the loss to Washington," said former Bruin Andrew Alberts, who had a tough night, coughing the puck up for a goal and then getting hammered in a third-period fight with Shawn Thornton. "They came out flying after the drop of the puck. We were on our heels and they got some goals right way. They were on the PP and kept scoring we couldn't catch up."

"We wanted to come out and put our better foot forward tonight and I think we did that," said Marc Savard, who had a goal and two assists. "The biggest thing is we played simple tonight."

Against Washington, the Bruins got away from the style that earned them 116 points last season and tried to be fancy. Saturday night, in the second game of a five-game homestand, they got back to basics, working hard from start to finish.

"When the effort isn't there, you can look pretty bad when the other team's working hard," Boston coach Claude Julien said.

That's what happened to the Hurricanes as they fell to 0-2 with their second loss in as many nights.

"We were bad in pretty much every area we could be," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said.

Marco Sturm added a goal and an assist, and Dennis Wideman, Thornton and Matt Hunwick also scored for the Bruins. Ryder also had an assist.

Steve Begin, signed a free agent over the summer, had his second and third assists for Boston, while Derek Morris, another free-agent acquisition, assisted on the first two goals, both on the power play.

The Bruins had just 20 shots in their 4-1 loss to Washington on Thursday night, but came out flying and sent 21 shots at Cam Ward in the first period. Ward was pulled after the fourth goal, which came midway through the second period.

Scott Walker and Eric Staal beat Tim Thomas for the Hurricanes, coming off a 2-0 home loss to Philadelphia on Friday night.

Savard opened the scoring on a rebound at 4:06, before Ryder, also on the power play, and Wheeler, off some nifty work by Begin, connected to make it 3-0.

In the second, Savard set up Sturm after a penalty kill, making it 4-0 at 10:37.

Michael Leighton replaced an embattled Ward and was beaten by the first shot he saw. Boston was back on the power play when Mark Recchi set Wideman up for a one-time blast from just above the faceoff circle to the goalie's right.

Down 5-0, the Hurricanes got on the board when Walker, booed every time he touched the puck for his pummelling of then-Bruin and now-Hurricane Aaron Ward and then scoring the goal that eliminated Boston from the playoffs, deflected a shot by Ward - out of the air and by Thomas at 15:21 of the second period.

But the Bruins got that back when Begin stole the puck from former Bruin Andrew Alberts and got it to Thornton just in front of Leighton.

Staal scored on the power play early in the third period, after needing 25 stitches to close a cut on his left ear. He was hurt when a shot by teammate Matt Cullen struck him.

Hunwick added a power-play goal for the Bruins, who were 0-for-5 with the advantage Thursday night.

NOTES: Carolina was 0-for-13 on the power play in two games before Staal connected ... Carolina's Erik Cole was helped off the ice with a left knee injury in the closing minutes after a collision with Wideman. ... Recchi's assist was the 898th of his career, tops among active players. ... Boston's Milan Lucic bloodied Carolina's Jay Harrison in a second-period battle. ... The Bruins honored longtime broadcaster Fred Cusick, who passed away recently at 90. During the first media timeout of the second period, the TV booth was dedicated at the "Fred Cusick Broadcast Booth." The club will install a silver microphone encased in a black and gold frame on the TD Garden's level 9 facade beneath the home TV booth, which will permanently displayed. It is similar to the microphone that already exists for Celtics broadcaster Johnny Most.

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