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5 Takeaways: Bruins Score Twice in Final Minute to Beat Panthers

by Jameson Olive / @JamesonCoop / FloridaPanthers.com

3/7/19 Post Game Interviews

3/7/19 Post Game Interviews

Interviews with Bob Boughner, Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau

  • 01:40 •

BOSTON - It took less a minute for a win to turn into a loss.

After Jonathan Huberdeau put the Florida Panthers up 3-2 midway through the third period, the Boston Bruins scored twice within the final 37 seconds of regulation to extend their point streak to a season-high 18 games with a shocking 4-3 win on Thursday night at TD Garden.

Panthers coach Bob Boughner described the loss as "the most disappointing of the year."

"Obviously that room is very, very down right now and disappointed," Boughner said. "No one had beaten this team in regulation in 17 games, now 18. I feel we should have been that team. It all got taken away in the last couple minutes, and it hurts."

Following a scoreless first period, the Panthers took a 2-0 lead in the middle frame on a pair of power-play goals from Aleksander Barkov and Huberdeau. Entering the night with the third-best man advantage in the league, they finished 2-for-5 against Boston's eight-ranked penalty kill.

After David Krejci cut Florida's lead to 2-1 midway through the second, Patrice Bergeron scored shorthanded to tie the game 2-2 at 8:50 of the third. Less than three minutes later, Huberdeau's second goal of the game - a slick spinning shot -- put the Panthers back on top 3-2 at 10:55.

Video: FLA@BOS: Huberdeau sweeps gorgeous goal past Rask

Sent to a late power play, Matt Grzelcyk went bar-down on a long one-timer to make it a 3-3 at 19:23 of the third. Then, with 37 seconds left, Bergeron's second goal secured Boston's 4-3 win.

With the loss, Florida's losing streak has reached six games.

"We're 30 seconds away from a perfect 60-minute game," Barkov said. "They're a really good team on a really good roll. We came here and we wanted to end that point streak and get that win and move forward. Those last 30 seconds, they hurt a lot."

Here are five takeaways from Thursday's loss in Boston…

1. AN EVEN FIRST

The first period was about as even an opening 20 minutes as you'll see.

Entering the first intermission, the scoreboard read 0-0, while the Panthers held a slim 10-9 advantages in shots on goal. According to NaturalStatTrick.com, the Bruins bested Florida in total shot attempts 19-14, but trailed in high-danger shot attempts by a lopsided margin of 4-1.

In terms of scoring chances, each team had eight.

"For us, it's a playoff game," Panthers winger Frank Vatrano told FOX Sports Florida after the first period. "They're obviously a team that's high up in the standings, but they want the points too. For us, it's just making sure we're matching their intensity and being a little bit better."

For the Panthers, that intensity manifested itself in all the little areas of their game during the opening frame. A strong start on defense, they led Boston in blocks (6-2), takeaways (8-4) and hits (9-4), while also winning the battle in the faceoff dot by a 12-10 margin (55 percent).

Mike Matheson led the Panthers with four takeaways in the first period.

2. A NEW HIGH

Barkov's scoring ability is starting to mirror his all-world work on defense.

Florida's superstar captain set a new career-high with his 29th goal of the season on Thursday night, re-directing a long wrister from Keith Yandle past goaltender Tuukka Rask on the power play to break the ice in Beantown and put the Panthers on top 1-0 at 2:48 of the second period.

Video: FLA@BOS: Barkov tips home power-play goal in front

Finishing the night with a goal and an assist, Barkov has now achieved his second-straight 70-point campaign, joining Olli Jokinen (2005-08) and Pavel Bure (1999-2001) as the only players in franchise history to do so. The 23-year-old center, who has 10 goals and seven assists over his last 11 games, is also just eight points shy of matching his career-high 78 from last season.

"We just need to learn to play a full 60 minutes," Barkov said of the loss.

3. SPRING TRAINING

The Miami Marlins might want to give Huberdeau a call this summer.

With the Panthers sent back to the power play, the talented 25-year-old left winger used his stick like a baseball bat in the low slot, whacking a deflected pass from Barkov right out of the air and past Rask to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead at 6:27 of the second period. "It bounced high and I just waited until went down," Huberdeau said of the goal during the second intermission. "I thought it wasn't enough for it to be a high stick. It worked out for us. It was a big goal."

Video: FLA@BOS: Huberdeau bats home power-play goal

Second to only Barkov on the Panthers in scoring, Huberdeau is now up to 68 points on the season, needing just one more to match the career-high 69 he registered last season. His 48 assists this season are not only a career-high, but also tied for 12th among NHL forwards.

If he gets five more assists this season, he will match Viktor Kozlov's franchise record of 53.

"I don't know what it is," Huberdeau said of tonight's loss. "I wish I had the answer. I think we've just got to manage defensively. We could have got it to overtime and tried to get the two points, but we didn't."

4. POINTS FROM THE BLUE LINE

Yandle's numbers on the power play are starting to approach insanity.

By assisting on both Barkov and Huberdeau's goals, the 32-year-old defenseman now has 34 power-play points on the season. That number not only places him tied for second in the NHL, but also knotted with Robert Svehla for the third-most in a single season in franchise history.

Yandle's nine goals with the extra attacker also ranks first among all NHL blueliners.

Leading Florida's defensemen in points (54) and assists (45), Yandle is the only defenseman in franchise history to register multiple 50-point campaigns. With six more points, he can achieve the first 60-point season of his career, becoming just the 13th U.S.-born defenseman to do so. A Boston native, Yandle has seven assists in his last six games against the Bruins.

5. HEADING HOME

After a quick two-game road trip, the Panthers will now head home.

Florida (28-27-12) will host Minnesota in the second half of its back-to-back set on Friday night at BB&T Center. The game will also serve as the organization's annual "Grateful Dead Night," with a special T-shirt available to those who purchase the ticket special package HERE.

Following a breather on Saturday, the Panthers will take the ice once again at home for a game against Detroit on Sunday. Like most of the team's Sunday games this season, this matchup will start a 5 p.m. ET., so please remember to set your calendars, watches and DVRs accordingly!

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, players will also be wearing themed green jerseys during warm-ups before taking on the Red Wings. These festive sweaters will be auctioned off in-game and online through auctions.nhl.com, with proceeds benefitting the Florida Panthers Foundation. 

Tweet from @FlaPanthers: Bidding has begun for our #FlaPanthers St. Patrick's Day threads! Bid today for your chance to win a warm-up worn jersey �� https://t.co/E3CO0cQrt9 pic.twitter.com/dAyDrW41iL

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