FLA - J. Winchester (4) BOS - D. Krejci (3), B. Marchand (2), T. Krug (6), R. Smith (2)
BOSTON, MA — (NHL.com) - Tuukka Rask continued his dominance of the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.
And the Boston Bruins goaltender received a rare cushion from his teammates to back up his 23-save performance in a 4-1 win at TD Garden that improved his all-time record against the Panthers to 9-1-0.
"There are no positives right now. It's embarrassing. I can't remember the last time we won. We're not a team that's full of superstars. We can't play a fantasy game. We've got to go out there and play gritty and just outwork the other team. Right now, that's not happening."
- Panthers forward Shawn Matthias.
1. Power Out: The Panthers had an excellent chance to take the lead in playing at TD Garden. Boston took the game's first three minor penalties but Florida couldn't capitalize on those chances in the first 22:39 of the game. Dougie Hamilton went off for hooking with 5:52 to play in the first and then Carl Soderberg went off for high-sticking with 2:33 to play. Patrice Bergeron received the third minor of the game 29 seconds into the second but Florida had trouble getting set up on each of the chances and could only get three shots on Tuukka Rask. Florida had a fourth opportunity in the third period but was foiled once again.
2. Three For The B's: Scoreless for almost half the game, it took traffic in front of Scott Clemmensen and a blast from the point to get the Bruins on the board. Firing a low shot that looked like it changed directions in front, David Krejci gave the home team the lead 7:17 into the second as Jarome Iginla was giving the Panthers defenders trouble in front of the goaltender. Still after two periods of play it was a one goal game. Boston would take that one goal game and make it a three-goal lead as they scored less than five minutes apart in the third period. First Clemmensen got a piece of Dennis Seidenberg's shot 4:09 in but an unchecked Brad Marchand tapped the laying puck in from the crease. Then defenseman Torey Krug scored 8:57 in as he took a feed from Chris Kelly and fired it top shelf as he skated in on the rush.
3. Rask Wall: Tuukka Rask has certainly had the Panthers numbers over his career and Thursday night was no different for the Bruins netminder. Rask had a shutout going until the final 5:35 of play when Nick Bjugstad's shot on the rush struck Rask high and Jesse Winchester banged home the rebound to make it a 3-1 game. Boston's Reilly Smith would add a fourth goal for the home team off a turnover with 1:47 to play but Rask was good once again for the Bruins. He ran his record to 9-1-0 in 10 career games all while keeping his GAA less than one. Entering the game, Rask had a .968 save percentage. One of the netminder's biggest saves actually came with some help from the post. Up 1-0 with less than two minutes to play in the second, Jonathan Huberdeau tried a wrap-around and had Rask out of position but the forward bounced it off the post and then the puck hit Rask's skate and away from danger.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.
@aaronjhintze: @FlaPanthers we have a lot of work to do
@LukeVader79: Come on @FlaPanthers you guys are better then this.
@Justinlubor: Ugh @FlaPanthers I will ALWAYS be a fan but your making this year really tough. Need those points #GoCatsGo #WeBelieve #RedRising
@Sierraaaxxx: Seriously @FlaPanthers your letting me down y'all need to win on Sat. a/ Ottawa a big w#weseeredred
Memorable fan posts from the game.
Dale Worsnop: Yes we lost but a much better effort than others lately and some really good chances....
Richard Lorith: The Bruins are one of the best teams in the league you better bring your A-game when playing them
Kim Marie: What is the problem? I do not understand!!
John G. Guido: I can't even think of words for this...
Brandon Michael Davis: Seriously cats? Come on. ..damn
2. Goaltender Scott Clemmensen made his second start of the season, third appearance overall. After starting in Washington on Nov. 2, Clemmensen made X stops on Thursday night against the Bruins.
3. The Bruins hit the trifecta on their second period goal. Scoring on the blast from the point, David Krejci picked up his third tally of the season. Blueliners Zdeno Chara and Dougie Hamilton recorded their third helpers of the season.
3. Getting the Panthers on the board in the third period, Jesse Winchester netted his fourth of the season. It ran his point total to three games (2-1-3). Picking up the second assist on the goal, Jonathan Huberdeau also pushed his assist/point streak to three games (0-3-3).
4. The Panthers finished with 24 shots on net. Leading the way came via the blueliners as defensemen Brian Campbell and Matt Gilroy each fired four shots on Rask.
5. It was fight night on Thursday as the Panthers and Bruins dropped the gloves on two separate occasions. Jesse Winchester and former Panther Gregory Campbell fought 5:20 into the first period while it was a heavyweight tilt between Krys Barch and Boston's Shawn Thornton 13:49 into the second period.
Came within 5:35 of recording the shutout but came up big when needed to keep the Panthers from mounting a threat.
The Panthers will continue their three-game road trip with back to back games on Saturday and Sunday. First up is Ottawa as the Cats battle the Sens in an afternoon matinee (2pm start). After beating Montreal Thursday night by a 3-1 count, Ottawa has posted 16 points in 16 games (6-6-4). They're offensively by young blue liner Erik Karlson (17 points in 15 games) and forwards Jason Spezza (16 points in 14 games), Bobby Ryan (15 points in 15 games) and Kyle Turris (15 points in 15 games).