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Panthers Wrap-Up: Bruins 6, Panthers 2

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers

1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 0 1 1 0 2
Bruins 2 2 2 0 6
FLA - B. Boyes (14), PPG - D. Kulikov (5)
DET - M. Lucic (14), Z. Chara (13), M. Lucic (15), PPG - R. Smith (18), S. Thornton (4), D. Krejci (11)

BOSTON —  ( - The line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Reilly Smith combined for nine points in the Boston Bruins' road win against the New York Islanders on Monday night.

Against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday, it was the line of Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Jarome Iginla that dominated.

"They're a good team. They made the finals last year for a reason and they played a good game against us tonight combined with us not playing our best game, myself included, they took advantage of it and they just kept coming at us."

- Panthers goaltender Tim Thomas.
1. Back In Beantown: Tuesday night saw the return of Tim Thomas to his old stomping grounds. Missing the first game in Boston in November, Thomas dressed in the opposing locker room at TD Garden for the first time of his career after spending eight seasons in black and gold. The Bruins greeted him with plenty of shots, peppering the Panthers netminder while throwing 19 shots in the first period and 10 more in the second.

2. Too Much Lucic & Chara: Two of the Bruins biggest players gave the Panthers fits as Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara combined for three of Boston's first three goals in the game. Although he factored in on Boston's first and third goals, getting the tap in on each tally, Lucic set the screen on Chara's point shot for a 2-0 lead in the first. Panthers defensemen and forwards had a hard time keeping the power forward out of the blue paint and away from Thomas' vision most of the night.

3. Within Two But Not Enough: The Panthers found themselves trailing 4-0 after Reilly Smith scored on the power play with over five to play in the second but they weren't deterred by the deficit as they got it within two four minutes into the third period. Set up by Nick Bjugstad, Brad Boyes' snapshot found the back of the net with 33 seconds remaining in the second. Dmitry Kulikov's point shot broke a power play drought for the Cats and got them to 4-2 with four minutes gone in the third. Unfortunately that's as close as they could get as Shawn Thornton willed himself to the front of the net, bouncing off two defenders before roofing the puck on the backhand 4:14 later and David Krejci gave them a four-goal advantage once again in late in the game. 
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@MathiasMejia_: @FlaPanthers lose but the real fans are still here!! Win or lose the fans are there

@jaysonross33: @FlaPanthers keep your heads up! Your fans are still here!!! #LetsgoCats

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Arlene Font: Unlike

Riley Destin: C'mon Man!

Samuel David Litt: Not a fun one

2. The Panthers finished with 20 hits on the night, outhitting Boston 20-16. Nine different skaters had two each.

3. Blueliner Dmitry Kulikov netted his fifth goal of the season. It was his third in the last six games as his power play goal got the Cats to 4-2..

14. Forward Brad Boyes notched his team-leading 14th of the season after getting the Panthers on the board late in the second period. Boyes has scored in back-to-back games with the tally.

194. Tuesday's game marked Tim Thomas' 194th career game at TD Garden but his first in the opposing team's locker room.

500. Suiting up against the Bruins, defenseman Tom Gilbert played in his 500th career NHL game. Gilbert leads the Panthers with 22 assists and tied for the team lead with 24 points.

Milan Lucic
Was instrumental in Boston's first three goals, scoring twice and screening on the second of the night to give them a 3-0 advantage.

2 Goals, 2 Points, +4, 3 Shots, 16:26TOI
Florida looks to get back in the win column come Thursday and look for their fourth road victory in the last five games as they travel north of the border to take on the Toronto Maple Leafs. It will be the second meeting between the Atlantic Division foes after Florida took a 3-1 victory in Toronto on Dec. 17 as part of winning three of four in their last road trip north of the border. Currently third in the Atlantic, they're led by US Olympian Phil Kessel who has 54 points in 54 games including 27 goals which is tied for fourth among league leaders. Jonathan Bernier meanwhile has a 17-15-5 record with .925 save percentage and 2.61 GAA between the pipes.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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