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Panthers Wrap-Up: Panthers 6, Bruins 2

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers
1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 1 3 2 0 6
Bruins 0 1 1 0 2
FLA - PP - M. Samuelsson (10), M. Goc (10), S. Weiss (17), J. Madden (1), T. Kopecky (8), W. Wolski (3)

BOS - J. Corvo (4), B. Rolston (5)
SUNRISE, Fla (AP) - The Florida Panthers are getting hot at just the right time, while the Boston Bruins are struggling.

Jose Theodore stopped 24 shots and the Panthers scored three second-period goals to beat the Bruins 6-2 on Thursday night.

"I call it home cooking. We want to play well at home. We want to enthuse our fan base...We want our fans to come into this building, feel proud putting on that Panther uniform, that Panther hat and enjoy a night out. We want to be homers. We want to be a good home team and I think that's been important."

- Head coach Kevin Dineen
1. Power Play Remains Hot: After scoring on 50% of their chances against Toronto, Florida opened up with another huge power play goal against Boston. Getting their second power play of the night, Mikael Samuelsson gave the Panthers an important 1-0 lead with a nice shot with 2:03 to play in the period. It was the fourth straight game the Panthers scored the first goal of the contest, something that's helped them rack up seven out of a possible eight points. The team did finish 33% on the night, getting another chance in the third but not converting but the two units moved the puck around well in getting some chances on Tim Thomas and the Bruins.

2. Huge Gritty, Offensive Second: Holding a 1-0 lead after one period of play, the Panthers got off to a rocking start with a goal 38 seconds in and rolled up two more before the period was out to take a 4-1 lead into the dressing room. The best part of it was that all three Panthers goals were of the gritty variety, going to the front of the net. Marcel Goc opened up the second period scoring when he tipped home a Brian Campbell point shot from halfway between the point and the crease 38 seconds in. Joe Corvo made it a one goal game at the 4:53 with a point shot but Stephen Weiss answered 1:37 later as he pounced on a rebound and drove it past Thomas for his 17th of the season. The third tally of the period came thanks to hard work from the fourth line. There Krys Barch found Jerred Smithson and in the end John Madden put home his own rebound with 4:33 left on the clock. It was the second time the Panthers have scored three goals in a period (third period against Toronto).

3. Soup Leads Charge As Cats Gain Two On Bruins: With Boston looking to have an edge early as they tried to stop a three-game losing streak, Campbell might have just turned the tide with a huge open ice hip check on Bruins forward Brad Marchand (SEE VIDEO). Marchand would be upset with the hit and take an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to give the Cats a power play and momentum. They wouldn't convert on that opportunity but the tone was definitely set. Campbell would set up Samuelsson later in the first for the 1-0. He collected his second assist when Goc tipped his point shot and then registered his third assist of the night on Weiss' goal. Maybe ESPN should follow Campbell more often as Scott Burnside was in town to follow the defenseman in a day in the life of feature. The Panthers would add two more goals in the third period as Tomas Kopecky scored off a turnover 7:51 in and then Wojtek Wolski finished off a pretty rush with Tomas Fleischmann with 2:36 left on the clock. The win gives the Cats 81 points, three points more than the second place Capitals in the division and seven on the Jets. It also brings them to within two points of the Bruins for second place in the entire Conference.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@tcurr4: With another win tonight the cats are only two points away from 2nd place!! Its almost time for #PlayoffHockey #FlaPanthers #WeSeeRed

@grueknowwho: Need to get up in five hours but I cant sleep. I'm too amped up from the drubbing the #FlaPanthers gave the Bruins #WeSeeRed

@MetsPanthersFan: The 90 minute ride north is so sweet tonight. How bout them 1st place #flapanthers

@parrothead34: When you win your games, you don't really need to care if the Caps win or not. Nice job, boys! #FlaPanthers

@sportschick79: Hey South Florida, if you haven't been to a #FlaPanthers game lately you are really missing out. #WeSeeRed

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Lou Doucet: Great games, the Cats spanked the Bears.

Thomas D'Ambrosio: We needed this so badly. Caps are catching up!

Colby Moran: Perfect time to get hot, keep it going guys, great win!

Mark Zola: Oh my god! So glad I went to this game! LET'S GO PANTHERS!

Jay Brandt: What a kicka@# game, everybody is contributing, I believe we can get to that #2 position in the East. Versteeg coming back Saturday, we got dis!!!! GO CATS GO!!!!!!!!!

1. It was a couple of firsts for the Panthers on their fourth goal of the game. Knocking home his own rebound, John Madden finally got on the scoresheet in his 20th game of the season. His first of the Panther gave the Cats a 1-0 lead with 4:33 left in the second. Picking up the first assist on the play was Jerred Smithson who registered his first assist and point as a Panther.

5. Beating the Bruins 6-2, the Panthers won the season series 5 points to 4 over the current Northeast Division leaders. That's a much better outcome than last season when the Panthers picked up just one point on the Bruins in the season series (0-3-1).

10. The Panthers got two more double digit goal scorers on the season as both Mikael Samuelsson and Marcel Goc netted their 10th of the season. Samuelsson scored on a power play goal in the first and Goc scored 38 seconds into the second. The Panthers have eight double digit scorers on the season.

3-3. Split the threes for a double entendre Brian Campbell registered three assists on the night and was a plus three (second best behind Jason Garrison's plus-four). It was Campbell's seventh multi-point game of the season but his first in 33 games.

51. Registering two assists on the night, Tomas Fleischmann took over the team lead in points (was tied with Kris Versteeg headed into the game with 49). Also, the 51 points ties a career high for the Flash who also hit that mark in 2009-10 with the Capitals.

Brian Campbell
Hit in the first on Marchand set tone of the game and then he went on to assist on the first three Panthers goals (including two of the first assist variety).

3 Assists, +3, 1 Shot, 1 Hit, 23:09 TOI
Florida will close out the homestand looking for a clean sweep and their first four-game winning streak in about three seasons when they host the Buffalo Sabres Saturday night. The Sabres have blown leads in the dying seconds of their last two games but have come out with three points in those two. Their last game was a 5-4 shootout heartbreaker as Jamie McGinn tied it with less than two seconds on the clock and the Avalanche went on to win it in the one-on-one session. Florida is 1-1-1 against Buffalo this season. The Sabres are led offensively by Jason Pominville (63 points in 71 games) and Thomas Vanek (50 points in 67 games). Meanwhile in goal, Ryan Miller has bounced back from a tough start of the season to post a 25-18-6 record with a 2.60 goals against average and .915 save percentage.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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