Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas (30) passes goaltender Philippe Sauve after Thomas was pulled from the net during the second period of Boston\'s 5-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricaners in n NHL game in Boston Friday. (AP/Winslow Townson)
The win ended the Hurricanes' two-game losing streak, avoiding their worst run since the defending Stanley Cup champions dropped their first four games of the season.
Eric Staal netted his team-leading 14th goal for Carolina, a power-play tally in the first period. Eric Belanger and Andrew Laad had the other goals for the Hurricanes.
Patrice Bergeron scored a power-play goal Boston, which lost for the second time in seven games. The Bruins' previous six games were decided by one goal.
John Grahame, starting his second straight game in place of starter Cam Ward, stopped 25 shots for the Hurricanes.
Boston starter Tim Thomas was pulled after Carolina's third goal.
The Hurricanes outshot the Bruins 40-26.
The Bruins play the Maple Leafs in back-to-back games at Toronto on Saturday and Tuesday.
Williams scored from the edge of the crease, converting Scott Walker's shot from the point at 10:35 of the second. Cole cut around defenceman Mark Stuart on the ensuing faceoff and slipped the puck between Thomas' pads. Philippe Sauve, recalled earlier in the day from Providence of the AHL, replaced Thomas.
Belanger and Ladd scored in the third period after Bergeron's goal cut the Bruins' deficit to 3-1.
Carolina grabbed a 1-0 lead when Staal's shot from the left circle caromed in off Stuart with 1:24 left in the opening period.
Each team missed a breakaway chance in the first 12 minutes. Thomas flashed his left pad to rob Niclas Wallin, and Bruins forward Marco Sturm shot wide when tried to put the puck over a sprawling Grahame.
Thomas nearly gave up an embarrassing goal early the second when he came out to the left boards and made a clearing pass to the Carolina blue-line. Hurricanes centre Chad LaRose grabbed the puck and fired it at the open net, forcing Thomas to hustle back and make a diving stop.
Notes: Former Bruins GM Mike O'Connell, fired after last season, was in the press box. He now scouts for the Los Angeles Kings. ... Linesmen Derek Amell was knocked over backward into the Carolina bench in the first period, forcing a stoppage in play. ... The game was the first half of a hockey-basketball doubleheader. The Boston Celtics were scheduled to face the New York Knicks on Friday night.