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Eric Staal scores in shootout to lift last-place Hurricanes past Bruins 2-1

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RALEIGH, North Carolina — Eric Staal doesn't often take part in the shootout.

But the Carolina Hurricanes captain made the most of his chance Sunday, beating Tuukka Rask for the only shootout goal in a 2-1 victory.

It was Staal's fifth shootout goal in 20 attempts. Four of those goals have decided the game, including Sunday's, to give Carolina a two-game winning streak.

"I haven't had my name called a ton in that regard, but if I keep doing that, it will be called," Staal said. "You have to go out confident and be excited for the opportunity, and today I was. I've been shooting it well the last few games. Today, I didn't have it in regulation but (had) a lot of good chances. Rask made some saves, but I got the better of him in the shootout."

Anton Khudobin got the start in goal for Carolina in place of Cam Ward, who had played the previous four games. Khudobin, a former Bruin, made 19 saves and stopped Reilly Smith, Torey Krug and Patrice Bergeron in the shootout.

The Bruins have just five regulation wins in their past 16 games to fall to 19-15-6.

They were outshot 14-4 in the first period and 9-2 in the third. Bergeron, the Boston captain, said the team needed more of a sense of desperation.

PHOTO: Carolina Hurricanes' Eric Staal (12) passes the puck while being challenged by Boston Bruins' Gregory Campbell (11) during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
Carolina Hurricanes' Eric Staal (12) passes the puck while being challenged by Boston Bruins' Gregory Campbell (11) during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

"We're halfway in, and we're not in the playoffs," Bergeron said. "It's definitely unacceptable."

Carolina took the lead into the first intermission with a late goal. Patrick Dwyer stuck a rebound past Rask (35 saves) with 33.2 seconds left for his third of the season on assists by Brad Malone and Jay McClement.

Bergeron tied it for Boston, one-timing a pass from Brad Marchand past Khudobin with 5:25 left in the second period. Dougie Hamilton also had an assist on Bergeron's goal, his eighth of the season.

In the final minute of the second period, Boston's Smith had an open net after a nifty pass from David Krejci, but Smith hit the post to keep the score tied at the second intermission.

The Bruins were held without a shot for nearly the first 17 minutes, but their first shot nearly was a goal. Smith was alone in front of the net but robbed by Khudobin. Midway through the second period, Khudobin handcuffed Smith on another attempt from close range.

The Hurricanes killed off one penalty that spanned the first and second periods, giving them 20 consecutive penalty kills.

Khudobin has won consecutive starts. He was 0-8-2 before winning 2-1 on Dec. 23 at New Jersey.

Notes: Boston entered having won six of the previous seven against Carolina, including four in a row. The Bruins fell to 1-5-1 in second end of back-to-back games. Boston lost 3-2 at home to Ottawa on Saturday. ... Jeff Skinner was back in the lineup for Carolina after missing Friday's game with flu-like symptoms. ... Forwards Zach Boychuk and Alexander Semin and defenseman Michal Jordan were scratches for the Hurricanes. ... Forward Jordan Caron and defenseman Matt Bartkowski were scratched by Boston.

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Photo Gallery:
PHOTO: Carolina Hurricanes goalie Anton Khudobin (31) of Kazakhstan, is congratulated after his shoot out win by Eric Staal (12) and Jeff Skinner (53) following an NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins in Raleigh, N.C., Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015. The Hurricanes won 2-1 in a shoot out. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
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