You take the good with the bad with Joni Pitkanen. His talent tantalizes, which is why he was drafted fourth overall and has been traded for significant returns twice since. His inconsistency also frustrates, which is why he has been traded twice since.

Given the Carolina Hurricanes' financial situation, along with their sudden surfeit of defensemen, it's fair to wonder whether Pitkanen is a luxury the Hurricanes cannot afford.

He showed Wednesday, in a win over the defending Stanley Cup champions, just what he has to offer when he's at his best. Pitkanen's opening goal - along with a 5-for-5 performance on the penalty kill -- helped the Hurricanes to a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins, not only their first of the season but a sorely needed one at that.