The Carolina Hurricanes were able to win without their missing star.
Boston wasn't so lucky.
Sami Kapanen and Kent Manderville beat Boston backup goalie Robbie Tallas 1:20 apart in the second period on Saturday night as the Carolina Hurricanes sent the Bruins to a rare opening night loss, 3-1.
The win came despite the absence of Carolina's top scorer last year, Keith Primeau, who is holding out for a better contract. Boston was also missing a key player because of a contract holdout, goalie Byron Dafoe.
Boston was 9-0-3 in its previous 12 openers, the longest unbeaten streak in the NHL. But the Bruins took the ice this time without Dafoe, a Vezina Trophy finalist from last year who is holding out while haggling over a new contract.
"Everybody's kind of waiting to see what happens. But we've got to move on," Tallas said. "I can't worry about Byron's situation. I've got to worry about mine."
Arturs Irbe stopped 22 shots for Carolina, which was eliminated by Boston in the first round of last year's playoffs. Tallas stopped 17 shots in his first attempt at replacing Dafoe, who is trying to pry $4 million per year out of the Bruins; the team is offering $3 million annualy.
"He didn't do nothing wrong. He made the proper saves," Bruins coach Pat Burns said of Tallas' performance. "He was a little bit fidgety at the beginning, but that's to be expected."
Ray Bourque gave Boston a 1-0 lead when he scored his 386th career goal 1:42 into the second period, moving him into the lead on the NHL's all-time scoring list for defensemen. Carolina's Paul Coffey, who was not in the lineup on Saturday night, fell into second place with 385.
Even before the opening faceoff, the crowd began chanting "We Want Dafoe!" After Kapenen scored 4:30 into the second period to make it 1-1, fans began a derogatory chant about Bruins general manager Harry Sinden.
When Manderville scored to make it 2-1 just 80 seconds later, the crowd simply booed. Manderville also had an assist on Jeff Daniels' goal that made it 3-1 with 7:30 left to play.
Meanwhile, The Boston Globe reported Saturday that the Bruins would offer Dafoe, who was the league's No. 3 goalie last season with a 1.99 goals-against average, another chance at arbitration. The deadline for Dafoe to seek arbitration has long passed, but if both sides wanted and the league allowed it they could use a mediator to settle the holdout.
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