RALEIGH, N.C. -- Depending upon how he feels today and what another MRI shows, Sergei Samsonov's return to the lineup may be short-lived.
The veteran forward said after last night's 3-3 tie against the Carolina Hurricanes that his bruised ribs were so sore, "it was to the point that it was a week ago." He said he felt all right early in the game, but by the end of the game, he wasn't able to play. In all, he got just 13 minutes 55 seconds of ice time, a discouraging turn of events, he said.
"I didn't see this coming," said Samsonov, who had missed the previous four games of the seven-game road trip, though he wouldn't have played Thursday in Philadelphia even if he had been healthy. He was with his wife, Meghan, after she had given birth the previous day to the couple's first child, Natasha.
Out of sight
They went to the videotape on Carolina's third score, Erik Cole getting credit even though the net was coming off the post. They do not go to the videotape for penalties, however, which is why Glen Murray got whistled for high-sticking with 5:58 to play. It negated a Boston power play, but shouldn't have because a replay clearly showed that it was the stick of Carolina defenseman Sean Hill that struck teammate Rob Brind'Amour . . . Onetime Bruin stalwart Glen Wesley, in his 10th year with the Whalers/Hurricanes, has yet to score this year. With just five assists, he came into the game with a team-high plus-13 rating, one of just four 'Canes to be on the north side in that category. Wesley was on the ice for all three Boston goals and just two of Carolina's . . . Once again, the Bruins were without forwards Travis Green (torn rib cartilage) and Sandy McCarthy (jaw). Green has missed eight straight games and 16 of 18, and McCarthy has played once since Jan. 7 . . . For the 13th time in the last 16 games, defenseman Jeff Jillson was a healthy scratch . . . The Bruins remain undefeated in regulation when leading after one period (13-0-1-1) and after two (19-0-3-3) . . . Mike Knuble, who assisted on Murray's first goal, needs three points to reach 200 in his career. It was his 100th career assist and he needs three goals to reach 100 . . . The seven-game, 18-day road trip is history, but the Bruins won't put away the overnight bags. After a home game tomorrow night against the Florida Panthers, it's off to visit the Islanders Tuesday night. In fact, five of the next 11 games are on the road before Boston settles in for a five-game home stretch beginning March 18 against Minnesota. The Bruins might have to be introduced to the Wild since it is the only meeting of the year . . . The Bruins have finished the regular-season series with 14 NHL clubs, but Carolina isn't among them. Boston will make a trip back to the RBC Center March 30 . . . The Bruins are 8-0-0-2 in the last 10 and haven't lost in regulation since Jan. 24 vs. Florida, the team they play tomorrow night at the FleetCenter . . . The Bruins are 9-1-1-2 in road games since Dec. 29 and 18-6-5-5 overall away from the friendly confines of the FleetCenter . . . The Panthers own the draft rights to J.D. Forrest, a standout defenseman for Boston College, and to Jesse Lane of Needham, currently playing defense for Des Moines in the USHL.
As good as things have been for the Bruins, they have been awful for the Hurricanes. Hard to believe that only a few years ago the Hurricanes were in the Stanley Cup Finals. But reality sunk in a year ago as Carolina finished last in the Southeast Division and the Hurricanes are not much better this season. The 'Canes are 13th in the Eastern Conference, just three points ahead of cellar-dwelling Washington in the Southeast. Coach Paul Maurice, who led Carolina to that stunning success in 2001-02, was fired Dec. 15 and while there were back-to-back wins under new coach Peter Laviolette, it didn't last. Under Laviolette, the former coach of the Providence Bruins and New York Islanders, the 'Canes are 10-15-4-1 and observers get the feeling that it's window-shopping time. Reportedly, talented forward Jeff O'Neill (11-19--30) is available, as well as veterans Glen Wesley, Sean Hill, and Ron Francis. "We're still in a position that we'll listen," Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford told the Raleigh News & Observer, "but we're not going to panic or be forced into making a trade."