Florida takes the ice in desperate need of a win, having posted a 3-5-2 record in their last 10 and giving up a share of the Southeast division lead to the Washington Capitals. The Bruins are doubtlessly not in a giving mood, coming off a 4-2 loss to the cellar dwelling Carolina Hurricanes
Just over one minute into the first period, Boston found their way onto the board with Patrice Bergeron’s 13th goal of the season, with assists awarded to Benoit Pouliot and Tyler Seguin.
Mike Santorelli and Matt Bradley broke in at the three minute mark, but Bradley was taken down by Dennis Seidenberg before he got a poke at the rebounding puck, putting the Panthers on their first power play of the night.
The Panthers kept the puck in the Boston zone for the first half of the power play, getting two shots on net and consequently two puck freezes. The second part of the man advantage saw the Bruins twice clear the puck and ultimately kill off the Panthers threat.
With eight minutes gone in the period, Michal Repik broke into the Bruins zone with Shawn Matthias out all alone in front of Tukka Rask’s crease, but Matthias couldn’t deke Rask, and the save was made.
Ed Jovanovski got into a scrap with Daniel Paille with three minutes left in the period. Both players headed to the penalty box with matching five minute minors.
Florida logged nine of the first 10 shots on net, but Boston’s shot was the only one that found the back of the net.
After ceding control of the puck to the Bruins for the first six minutes of the second period, the Panthers finally tied the score at the 12 minute mark. Jason Garrison unloaded his howitzer from just inside the blue line for his 12th marker of the season with assists from Mike Weaver and Matt Bradley. The goal guaranteed the game would not result in a third consecutive shutout between the two teams.
The Bruins went on their night’s first power play at the seven minute mark of the period when Tomas Fleischmann hooked Zach Hamill. One minute into the penalty, the Bruins caught a break when Matthias cleared the puck out of the zone and over the glass, taking another penalty and putting the Bruins on the two man advantage for just under a minute.
Goc and Garrison each had a clear two men short, but Boston was too much for Scott Clemmensen, and Bergeron scored his 14th of the season and second of the night, putting the Bruins back on top, 2-1 with five minutes to go in the period. The goal occured with two seconds remaining on the first penalty, so the Bruins stayed on the power play for another full minute after they scored their go ahead goal.
Matthias earned redemption as the Boston penalty expired, leaving the box just as the Panthers cleared the puck, carrying it up and beating Tukka Rask to tie the game at two. Assists were awarded to Tomas Kopecky and Stephen Weiss. Weiss’ assist moved him past Olli Jokinen into first place on Florida’s all-time list, with 232.
Florida would go on the power play with three minutes remaining in the period when mammoth defenseman Zdeno Chara hooked Mike Santorelli.
The Bruins killed the penalty without any further incident, and the period ended with the two teams deadlocked.
Weiss found Fleischmann out front by himself, but in what is becoming a recurring theme Fleischmann didn’t get the whole stick on the puck, weakly sending it towards the net.
At the four minute mark, Rask turned the puck over to Krys Barch behind the net. Barch sent it out front for Santorelli, but Rask was quickly back in position to make the save.
Clemmensen and Rask were keeping their respective teams in the game, both making timely saves on difficult shots.
Michel Repik was alone for a breakaway with under a minute to go, but could not fool Rask for the go ahead goal. The teams skated into overtime. Florida is again on top of the Southeast division, gaining at least one point.
Less than a minute into the extra frame, the Panthers went on the power play, four on three when Patrice Bergeron hooked Tomas Fleischmann. Florida got several shots on goal, and the Bruins cleared it out twice with Boston on the man disadvantage.
Brian Campbell led a three on two rush with two minutes remaining in the extra frame, as the Panthers were again turned aside by Rask. The Panthers outshot the Bruins, 5-2 in the extra period, but the game went to the shootout.
Marcel Goc started things out for the Panthers, going five hole on Rask, but the door shut at the last second.
Benoit Pouliot started things out for Boston, also going five hole and failing.
Dmitry Kulikov went next for the Panthers, but lost the puck a little, and ultimately went wide on the forehand.
Tyler Seguin went next for Boston, but pulled the puck just wide left at the last moment.
Stephen Weiss faked Rask out of his skates, beating the goalie into a just about empty net.
Patrice Bergeron came back for Boston, beating Clemmensen stick side to bring the teams back even.
Mikael Samuelsson went next, but pulled one move too many, and didn’t get the shot off.
David Krejci went fourth for the Bruins, beating Clemmensen five hole to end the game.
Hits: Tied, 27-27 (Matt Bradley led all skaters with six, including five in the first period. Gregory Campbell and Zdeno Chara had five each for the Bruins).
Blocked Shots: Bruins, 9-7 (Chara and Daniel Paille had two for the Bruins, Weiss had two for the Panthers).
Faceoffs: Panthers, 32-26 (John Madden won 10 of 13, Marcel Goc was 12 of 19 for the Cats. Chris Kelly led Boston by winning eight of 12).
Shots On Goal: Panthers, 40-35 (Fleischmann led Florida with seven, Kulikov added five. Patrice Bergeron took six shots for Boston).
Score: Bruins 3, Panthers 2