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B’s Clawed By Panthers, 6-3

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Podcast: BruinsCast

Boston -- The Boston Bruins fell to the Florida Panthers, 6-3, Saturday night in a penalty-marred contest at the TD Banknorth Garden. The Panthers scored two 5-on-3 power play goals, and three man advantage goals in total to outdistance the Bruins in an old-fashioned Saturday night shootout which saw veteran B's forward Glen Murray score his 600th NHL point.

"The penalties just took the life out of us," said B's forward Brad Boyes. "We just didn't build that life up again.

"We got into a shootout with that team and [they had] so many power plays it just killed us."

Perhaps buoyed by their strong play on Thursday versus New Jersey, the Bruins came out of the gate very quickly on versus Florida and looked to put the Panthers away quickly. The B's buzzed the Florida net time and time again looking to capitalize on their offensive chances.

And, taking a pass from Boyes, B's assistant captain Patrice Bergeron iced veteran Florida goalie Ed Belfour with a fake shot and then passed to Marco Sturm who put the Bruins up 1-0 at just 3:22 of the first session.

But Former Boston Bruin Jozef Stumpel tied the score at 1-1 when the Panthers took advantage of a 5-on-3 man-advantage at 10:33.

"When you get the lead there are certain things that are important to do," said Bruins head coach Dave Lewis. "We didn't protect [our leads] well enough tonight."

Just like in the first, the second period started well for Boston as Murray scored his 600th NHL point on his 15th goal of the season at the 2:00 mark of the stanza.

But Ville Peltonen countered again for the Panthers with a power play goal at 12:18.

With Boston on the power play, Murray scored at 12:18 to put the Bruins up 3-2.

However, Florida's Rostislav Olesz tied it up yet again at 12:37 thanks to an assist from Stumpel and made the score 3-3.

There was some controversy in the second period when a would-be goal by B's center Wayne Primeau was called back due to goalie interference.

"[The officials] determined collectively that Belfour was still in the top of his crease and [Donovan] was not pushed in but there was contact. So that's why the goal was disallowed and the face off went outside with no penalty," said Lewis.

"I had my back turned to the play," said Bruins forward Shean Donovan. "I guess the refs thought I interfered with the goalie.

"I didn't go through there trying to hit him. I tried to get in front of the net. I…was trying to stay outside the paint, but things happen pretty quick."

That no-goal seemed to knock the wind out of the Bruins and from the first face off, the third period of the contest was all Panthers.

And, with Florida on another 5-on-3 power play, Stumpel scored again at 4:10 of the final session. Then Florida captain Olli Jokinen scored his 14th of the season at 13:32 and Panthers veteran Gary Roberts iced the game for the Florida squad with an empty netter at 18:22.

"In the third period, they got a 5-on-3 goal, and grabbed the momentum," said B's defenseman Paul Mara. "[The game] changes from there."

The Bruins will look to regain their own momentum against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday in a 7:30 game in Canada's capitol.

Boston then returns home on Thursday, December 21st when the Vancouver Canucks make a rare appearance in the TD Banknorth Garden at 7:00.

Tickets are available for all home games online by clicking here, at the TD Banknorth Garden Box Office, or by phone at 617.624.BEAR.
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