Confidence in the offensive zone has been a problem for the Bruins all season long, but the Carolina Hurricanes did their best to help with that issue last night.

While Tuukka Rask made up for any defensive-zone miscues (and there were many) when it mattered, the B’s seemingly were able to score at will in the first two periods against a badly fading Hurricanes team that is lost without No. 1 goalie Cam Ward, out since early March with a knee injury. The result was the first real laugher of the season for the B’s, a 6-2 rout at the Garden, marking the biggest goal production of the season.

The B’s got goals from three of their four forward lines and a defenseman. Brad Marchand notched a pair of goals and single tallies came from Rich Peverley, Andrew Ference, Jordan Caron and Nathan Horton.

With the brutal schedule in mind, coach Claude Julien gave an impassioned defense of his players from criticism they’re receiving from the media, fans and even himself.

“These guys are not robots,” Julien said.

But there’s no denying the fact that, with 10 games left in the regular season, they don’t exactly look ready for a Stanley Cup march.

As nice as it was to see the offensive explosion from a team that had scored two or fewer goals in eight of its previous 11 games, the defensive-zone play has been abysmal lately. The Bruins have allowed 40 or more shots in three of their past four games, including last night. And if Rask had not been in tip-top form, especially early, it could have been a much different game against Carolina. Though they jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period, the B’s allowed 18 shots in the first and Rask had to come up big several times, including a great stop on Zac Dalpe on a 2-on-0 break.

“One thing we wanted was more offense, so obviously we got that. In the offensive zone, I thought we did a pretty good job,” Julien said. “Now it’s a matter of combining both, (offense) with better defensive play. I don’t think we were very good there.