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B's in NE Division Lead, 3rd in East

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins -- The Bruins came back from two deficits to defeat the Florida Panthers 3-2 in a shootout on Monday night in Sunrise, Florida. 

Florida Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen blocks a shot by Boston Bruins' David Krejci (46) during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Sunrise, Fla., Monday, Dec. 27, 2010. Krejci scored both of the Bruins' goals in regulation as Boston won 3-2 in a shootout. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
With the win, Boston picked up two points to tie the Montreal Canadians for first place in the Northeast Division, good for third in the Eastern Conference.  

Despite outshooting Florida 42-34, Boston never led in the game, but was still able to get the win. B’s forward David Krecji had both regulation goals for Boston, his sixth and seventh of the season.

“At one point there it didn’t look like we were getting the amount of chances we wanted and somehow we had to get more pucks at the net,” Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said to NESN’s Naoko Funayama post-game. “But you know it was nice to see us battle, battle hard and give ourselves a win here.”

Tim Thomas (32 saves) shut down all three Panthers shoot-out attempts to preserve the Bruins win after Krecji’s line-mate Blake Wheeler netted the B’s second shoot-out attempt. 

“The puck went where I wanted it but I didn’t really get the handle that I wanted on it so I think I had him beat. It just kind of snuck off my stick there," said Wheeler of his shootout tally. "You know, sometimes it's better be lucky than good."

Coming out of the NHL's holiday break, the Bruins were looking to keep the momentum they garnered from Thursday’s defeat of the Atlanta Thrashers.

“Did we play as good as we did against Atlanta? No, and our goal is to play as good as we did against Atlanta in every game,” Thomas said to NESN following the win.   

“So, we still have a little work to do, but it sure is nice to learn those lessons and still get the two points.”

The win came in the first game of a five game road trip for the Black & Gold. 

“We wanted to have a really successful road-trip, you can’t do that without a good first game,” Wheeler said.  “I think we were a little sluggish in the first period but I think it should be expected coming off the Christmas season, so you know I think we recovered well.”

“You always want to start road trips on the right foot here and I think it was important for us to get the first win and build some momentum hopefully going into the next one,” Julien said. “We don’t have much time to celebrate this, we play tomorrow in Tampa but we’ll take those two points because they’re huge for us right now.”

---Hannah Becker
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