Bruins 17-4-3 (37 pts) vs. Panthers 7-14-6 (20 pts)
9:33 p.m. - Postgame Snapshots - FINAL: BOS 4, FLA 1
B's Bounce Back: After a tough loss on Tuesday against the Penguins, the B's bounced back with a 4-1 victory over the Panthers led by Patrice Bergeron who notched two goals. The B's are back in action this Saturday at home against the Washington Captials.
Milestone: Tonight's win was Coach Claude Julien's 246th win behind the Bruins bench and put him in sole possession of second place on the club's all-time coaching wins list.
Tuukka Earns 14th Win: B's goaltender Tuukka Rask earned his 14th win (T-1st NHL) in tonight's victory over the Panthers, stopping 29 of 30 shots on net. Rask improves to 6-1-0 against the Panthers in his career.
Bergeron's Empy Netter: With 2:34 remaining the Bruins came very close to making it a 4-1 game with a Horton goal that was quickly disallowed by referees. Lucic was called interference on the play as he lost his balance and fell onto Clemmensen right as Horton through his shot in net. Not long after, the Panthers pulled Clemmensen in a last effort to try and generate offense for Florida with just under two minutes remaining. Marchand was able to control a puck at center ice shortly after the goalie was pulled and flipped it up to a streaking Bergeron who beat the remaining Florida players to put in his second goal of the game and his eighth of the season.
Merlot Line Comes Through: With 7:17 remaining in the third period, the merlot line provided the Bruins some breathing room from B's enforcer Shawn Thornton on a tremendous hustle play to make the game 3-1. Thornton started the sequence of events by putting a shot on Panthers goaltender Scott Clemmensen from the right circle, which ricocheted through the crease out the other side. Thornton didn't give up on the play and circled around behind the net to the other side and was able to grab his own rebound and whack it in to earn his third goal of the year. Paille and Campbell both earned assists on the play for their fifth and fourth of the year, respectively.
B's Postgame Coverage: Stay tuned for our postgame coverage and follow us on Twitter @NHLBruins for quotes from the B's locker room and Head Coach Claude Julien.
Next Game: The Bruins are back in action on Saturday at TD Garden against the Washington Capitals. Puck drop is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET.
8:42 p.m. - 2nd Intermission Snapshots - BOS 2, FLA 1
B's on the PK: Nathan Horton got called for high-sticking at 12:28 into the second period. The Bruins were able to kill off the Panthers first power play chance of the night, making that 21 straight successfully killed penalties by the Bruins. Soon thereafter, at 15:48 into the second, the B's were called for too many men on the ice and were put on the PK once more, with Shawn Thornton serving the two-minute bench minor. The Bruins were able to kill off their second penalty of the period making it 22 straight kills. The last time the Bruins allowed a PP goal was on March 3, against the Montreal Canadiens. Of note, in Chris Kelly's absence Daniel Paille has done overtime on the PK having 2:14 of PK already tonight only behind Zdeno Chara (2:28) and Johnny Boychuk (2:58).
B's Fall Victim on PP Chance: The Bruins went on their first power play of the game in the second period at 1:38 with a boarding penalty to Erik Gudbranson. The B's fell victim to a shorthanded goal at 3:10 into the second making the game 2-1. Panthers forward Shawn Matthias got tangled up with a retreating Dougie Hamilton causing the two to both fall to the ice. Matthias was able to recover quickly and regain control of the puck and put a backhander just outside Rask's reach to make it a one-goal game. That goal marks the first shorthanded goal given up by the Bruins this season.
Lucic-Krejci-Horton Line: Lucic, Krejci and Horton continue to generate scoring opportunities for the B's and will look to hopefully cash in on one of those chances coming into the third. The trio now have a combined nine of the Bruins 23 shots on goal (Lucic with 2, Horton with 3, Krejci with 4).
Johnson Gets the Call: Due to Adam McQauid being out day-to-day with a "minor injury," Aaron Johnson is playing in his first game since January 29 against New Jersey. So far tonight the defenseman has four of the B's 24 hits in 12:57 of ice-time and has mostly being paired with Boychuk.
7:47 p.m. - 1st Intermission Snapshots - BOS 2, FLA 0
Bergeron scores: At 14:56 into the first period, Patrice Bergeron scored his seventh goal of the season due in large to beautiful puck movement from Marchand and Seguin leading the rush. Seguin took the puck up through center ice into the Panthers zone and dished it to a waiting Marchand, who immediately sent it cross ice to Bergeron who tapped it home making the game 2-0 in favor of the B's. Not to be lost on the goal was that all five Bruins touched the puck, starting with Seidenberg's patience to hold onto the puck and wait for the outlet pass out to Ference, who found Seguin along the boards opposite of him in the neutral zone. That is assist 12 for Seguin and assist 10 for Marchand on the year. The Bergeron-Marchand-Seguin line now has 44 points in their last 13 games counting tonight.
Krejci Gets Robbed: With 9:49 left in the first the Bruins had a great scoring chance with both Lucic and Krejci rushing the net. Lucic was coming up the right wing and was able to flip the puck to Krejci streaking down the middle. Krejci then unleashed a wrister but Panthers goaltender Scott Clemmenson made a phenomenal glove-side save snatching the puck before it could proceed any further toward the net. The Lucic-Krejci-Horton line has collectively struggled to find the back of the net as of late, yielding coach Julien to say that they need to get back to their north-south game. Tonight they have certainly have gone back to form and have registered five of the Bruins 16 shots, including a couple of scoring chances.
Chara Scores: At 3:55 into the first, Chara connected on a slap shot from Krejci and Horton marking his sixth of the season to put the B's up 1-0. Chara has now scored first goal for the Bruins in two consecutive games. The B's captain also extends his point streak to three games with that goal having registered two goals and one assist during that span. That was Krejci's 15th assist on the season and Nathan Horton's sixth.
Marchand Recovers: Marchand made an ill-advised pass inside the blueline, which was intercepted by a Panthers forward, but Marchand immediately went on the backcheck and slowed him down enough for Ference to make a diving play to knock the puck away and avoid a breakaway shot on Rask. Great hustle play by both Ference and Marchand to eliminate the potential Panthers scoring chance.
Tuukka Taming Panthers: The Panthers came out with firing putting up five shots in under the first three minutes of the game but Rask was able to turn aside each one. A highlight save came when Rask made great stop on Florida's leading goal scorer Jonathan Huberdeau eight minutes into the first to preserve the B's 1-0 lead. Rask stopped a total of 11 shots in the first period giving him a perfect frame.
Merlot for Everyone: The Merlot Line is back at it again tonight in stride, with their hard forecheck and high-energy game that's seen them put five points on the scoresheet in the B's past three games. Though they didn't convert in the first period, they had two great opportunities. First, with 5:48 to go in the first, Thornton fired a shot that deflected off the Panthers defenseman and nearly in on Clemmensen, with Campbell almost putting home the loose puck in front (Thorty scored a goal with that same play against Ottawa). On the same shift, Thornton dumped the puck into the left corner and it looked like the Panthers would have an easy clear, but Paille forechecked, battled for the puck and quickly fed Thornton from behind the goal. Expecting to see the same from them in the second. BostonBruins.com reporter Caryn Switaj wrote a pregame story on patience paying off for Paille and the Merlot liners that you can read by clicking here.
6:43 p.m. - Pregame Snapshots:
Match-up: The Bruins will look to bounce back tonight after a loss on Tuesday that saw the B's give up three unanswered goals in the third period to fall to the Penguins 3-2 in Pittsburgh. The Panthers have one win in their last five games and will try and find consistency in their upcoming stretch of games which has them playing six of seven contests on the road.
Starting Goaltenders: Rask (13-2-3, 1.96 GAA, .927 Save %) vs. Clemmensen (2-3-2, 4.28 GAA, .852 Save %). Rask is 5-1-0 with a 0.98 GAA and a .969 Save % with two shutouts in six career games against the Florida Panthers. Clemmensen is 5-3-2 with a 2.20 GAA and .930 Save % with two shutouts in 12 career game against Boston.
Bruins vs. Panthers Lifetime: The Bruins and Panthers will meet for the 73rd time today, with the B’s having a 34-28-6-4 record and holding a 200-189 scoring advantage in those games. The B’s are 14-15-4-3 in 36 games in Boston but hold a 95-86 scoring edge in those contests. The Panthers are just one of two teams (Minnesota) with a winning record in Boston.
Streaking: Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara comes into tonight riding a two-game point streak registering a goal and an assist in his last two contests.
Tuukka Time: Tuukka Rask’s 13 wins are tied for second in the league. The B’s netminder also ranks fourth in GAA (1.96) and save percentage (.927). In six career games against Florida, Rask has two shutouts giving up less than a goal per game (0.98).
Milestones: Boston's next win will be Head Coach Claude Julien's 246th win behind the Bruins bench and will put him in sole possession of second place on the club's all-time coaching wins list (Julien is currently tied with Milt Schmidt).
B's and the Muscular Dystrophy Association: The Boston Bruins are teaming up with the Muscular Dystrophy Association (M.D.A.) for an in-game fundraiser throughout tonight’s game. The B’s and the M.D.A. have invited children with muscular dystrophy, along with their families, to experience a home game and take part in fan experiences throughout the evening. Fans will have the opportunity to purchase mystery-autographed pucks and make a donation to fill the fireman’s boot in support of the M.D.A.
NHL Realignment: The NHL Board of Governors announced today that it has ratified a realignment proposal for the 2013-14 season. Each conference will now be comprised of two divisions. The Bruins’ future divisional foes will include the Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Toronto Maple Leafs. All 30 NHL teams will visit every arena at least once per season, and the league has also reformatted its playoff format to include two wild card berths from each conference. Read the full release here.
Bruins Sign Camara: Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today, March 14, that the club has signed forward Anthony Camara to an entry-level contract. In 48 games this year with the Barrie Colts (OHL), Camara has registered 36 goals and 24 assists with a +17 rating and a team high 80 penalty minutes. Camara’s 36 goals are second on the team (11th in the OHL) and his 1.25 points per game average ranks third on the Colts squad. The winger’s 36 goals and 24 assists (60 points) are all career highs. Read the full release here.
Special Teams Comparison:
Boston: 12-for-73 on the PP (16.4%, 22nd in NHL), 88-for-95 on the PK (92.6%, 1st in NHL)
Florida: 16-for-93 on the PP (17.2, 16th in NHL), 64-for-88 on the PK (72.7, 30th in NHL)