With a majority of New England's eyes turned to Foxboro, the Boston Bruins got re-acquainted with a role that they haven't filled in a while: also-ran.
The reprised role resulted in an old result, as Carolina came from behind twice to leave Boston in its wake, winning a 4-2 decision on the strength of Jay Harrison's goal with 90 seconds remaining in the third period.
The Hurricanes, who outscored Boston 3-1 in the third period, were the first team to outscore Boston in the final frame since the Florida Panthers put two pucks past Tim Thomas on December 8th, 2011, a span of 37 days.
Milan Lucic called what Jack Edwards accurately called a "surgical" goal on his first shift in the third period, helping to extend David Krejci's career-high points streak to 11 games, as the Bruins weathered a heavy Carolina storm in the middle of the game before ultimately falling.
Carolina, whose first three goals came on deflections and whose final marker was an empty-net goal by Eric Staal, simplye seemed to be outskating Boston for long stretches of the game.
Patrice Bergeron opened the scoring for Boston with a rebound goal off of a Johnny Boychuk slapshot in the second period, but Patrick Dwyer evened the score just over four minutes later with a shot that deflected off a couple sticks and both posts before settling in the back of the net.
The Hurricanes picked up a wealth of momentum from the goal, spending almost the entire second half of the second period on Boston's side of the ice, but the Bruins did a good job keeping Carolina to the outside and keeping shots away from Thomas. After 40 minutes, the Hurricanes had only managed 14 shots.
Carolina finished with just 21 shots, compared to Boston's 35. But the Hurricanes did most of their damage where it counts most, improving to 3-0 against the Bruins and again worming their way under Boston's skin at game's end.
The good news for Boston? They only see Carolina once more this year. The better news? The Bruins, who are .500 or better against every team they've played in the East this season, won't be seeing Carolina in the playoffs anytime soon.