Whitney had three goals and an assist to lift the Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes to a 5-2 victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night. "They weren't pretty goals, but when we are playing well, they're the kind of goals this team gets," Whitney said.
Carolina trailed 1-0 but scored four goals in the final 4:24 of the second period. Whitney needed only 1:40 to notch his second NHL hat trick and then helped set up Justin Williams' team-leading 28th goal with 2.6 seconds remaining in the period, sending the Bruins off the ice to a chorus of boos.
Laviolette, Carolina's coach, wasn't pleased with his club early in the game. They responded and gave him his 100th NHL victory.
"We played a terrible first period and we got a tongue lashing between periods," Hurricanes defenceman Glen Wesley said. "Whitney single-handedly gave us the lead and we gained confidence from there."
Carolina won for the third time in nine games and took three of four in the season series against the Bruins.
Hurricanes left wing Erik Cole had to be helped off the ice with a lower body injury at 8:46 of the second period and didn't return. Last year, Cole missed the final 22 regular-season games and the first 23 playoff contests. He returned for the last two games of the Stanley Cup finals for the Hurricanes and has 49 points this season.
Rod Brind'Amour added an empty-net goal and had three assists. Cam Ward made 34 saves for Carolina.
Brandon Bochenski scored twice and Paul Mara had his second point in 12 games for Boston, which dropped its fourth straight at home and sixth in eight overall.
"There are a lot of teams between us and the eighth seed and Carolina is one we need to catch," defenceman Brad Stuart said. "Maybe we're trying to do too much, but we can't afford to keep throwing away games."
Bochenski gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead when he jammed the puck past Ward with 4:28 remaining in the first period. Bochenski was acquired in a swap of minor leaguers from Chicago on Feb. 3 and has scored three goals in two games since joining Boston.
"I wanted to make a good impression," Bochenski said. "I know I need to score goals to stick around here so that is what I am trying to do."
Whitney has 23 points in 26 career games against Boston and leads Carolina with 64 points.
The Bruins have one regulation victory since Dec. 29.
Notes: Glen Murray and Marco Sturm returned to the Bruins lineup after missing one game. ... Bill Mosienko has the record for fastest three goals in a game when in 1952 he accomplished the feat in 21 seconds. ... Stuart has one goal in the last 23 games. He entered the game a team-worst minus 22.