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Panthers top Bruins in shootout

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
By Jeremy Lemoine

Boston, MA - Florida's captain Olli Jokinen was able to sneak one past Bruins goalie Tim Thomas in the shootout to steal the extra point and beat the Bruins 4-3 on Monday night. With the Garden faithful on their feet, Panthers netminder Roberto Luongo turned aside all three Boston shooters to secure his team's sixth straight win. Patrice Bergeron added two goals, including the equalizer to send the game to overtime. Boston fell to an NHL-worst 1-8 in shootouts, 1-6 at the TD Banknorth Garden.

Jokinen was the last skater to go for the Panthers in the shootout. After trying to go five-hole, Thomas appeared to have the puck under control, but momentum brought him back to his own net and the puck squirted off his pad and over the goal line for the score. Brad Boyes, who scored the Bruins first goal, wasn't able to solve Luongo in the breakaway session as Boston's third and final shooter.

"I saved it and then didn't know where it went," said Thomas, who finished the game with a strong 45 saves. "I never felt it hit me again. The first rule I learned in goaltending was when you don't know where it is, just freeze. I did that, but I seem to slide so much more in the shootouts and it's frustrating.

"If not for bad luck, you would have no luck at all," he added.

It was the 18th time of the season that the B's have taken the game to extra sessions. Half of the 18 have exceeded overtime and headed to a shootout. The Bruins have come up on the short end of the stick eight times out of a possible nine tries.

"Every time we come to a shootout situation, we obviously want to win it," said Boyes. "For us, we haven't been on the right end of them this season and that's frustrating. You go back and look at it and it's one those cases where you really needed the points and didn't get them again."

For most of the game, the Bruins led by scores of 1-0 and 2-1. Then, the Panthers scored the equalizer with just 41 seconds left in the second. Jay Bouwmeester's slapshot from the point deflected off Hal Gill's skate in front of the net and went over Thomas' left shoulder to knot the game at 2-2.

Florida grabbed the lead from Boston mid-way through the final period. At 11:12 of the third, Hal Gill was whistled off for hooking Stumpel, who was on a partial breakaway. Just 23 seconds into the power play, Florida converted on a Gary Roberts deflection from in front of the net. The goal gave Roberts his 100th career NHL power play goal and the Panthers their first lead of the evening.

"We were better disciplined tonight, but where our penalty kill has been pretty good all year, it wasn't tonight," said Coach Sullivan. "It's been strong all year, just not tonight."

The Bruins persisted and would not let up, similar to the way they have played all season. The hard work paid off when Bergeron netted his second goal of the game with 43 ticks left on the clock to make a need for the overtime session.

With Boston on a two-man advantage by virtue of an empty net and a Florida penalty, Marty Reasoner set Glen Murray up for a one-timer, but Murray misfired. The puck hit off the end boards directly to Bergeron, who banked it off Panthers defenseman Sean Hill for the score.

"That was a big goal for us," said Bergeron. "We had the lead the whole game and we started to let it slip. It was definitely big to get that goal. It was a lucky bounce, but we've had our fair share of bounces all year so we'll take that one."

Boyes got things going for the B's when he broke the scoreless tie at 13:24 of the first period. Nick Boynton fired a slapshot from the point that Boyes redirected past Luongo for his 24th tally of the year.

Florida pulled even at 1-1 on the power play at 6:17 of the second period. Gary Roberts brought the puck to the front of the Boston net and fed ex-Bruin Josef Stumpel for a one-timer. Stumpel fired it past Thomas' stick side for his 15th goal of the season.

Five minutes later, Bergeron scored on a beautiful second effort to put the Bruins back on top with a 2-1 lead. Off the face-off, Bergeron won the puck back to Brad Stuart for the shot from the point. The shot was blocked, but Bergeron picked up the loose puck and potted his second attempt.

John Carlton Memorial Award Winners

Chris Huxley and Julie Flynn, outstanding defensemen on the men's and women's teams at Noble and Greenough School, have been selected as the 2005-06 winners of the John Carlton Memorial Trophies.

Boston Bruins Hall of Famer John Bucyk presented the awards in an on-ice ceremony prior to the game. It was the first time in the history of the awards that both winners came out of the same school.

The annual awards are named in honor of the late Bruins scout and administrator who passed away in December 1982, after a long and dedicated affiliation at all levels of the game. The awards are presented annually to both a male and female Eastern Massachusetts high school senior "who combines both exceptional hockey skills with academic excellence."
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