SUNRISE FL - DECEMBER 27: Goaltender Tim Thomas #30 of the Boston Bruins defends against a tip in attempt by Evgeny Dadonov #63 of the Florida Panthers on December 27 2010 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise Florida. The Bruins defeated the Panthers 3-2 in a shoot-out. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Sixty and six.
As one bizarre streak fell, another remained pleasantly intact Monday evening: the Cats finally lost their first match after sixty minutes of play, while Boston winger Nathan Horton extended his pointless stretch to six (!) games.
In fact, Horts, with 23 points, is only eight ahead of the defenseman he was exchanged for (Dennis Wideman). By the end, neither player really mattered in this one.
Though Florida - in front of an announced sell-out crowd at BankAtlantic Center - stuck to a tenacious and tight-checking strategy throughout the first two periods, the Bruins were able to claw a path out from under a 2-1 deficit, ultimately forcing overtime after David Krejci's second goal of the game at 10:35 of the third. Unlikely hero Blake Wheeler solved Scott Clemmensen in the shootout, setting up rookie Evgeny Dadonov (no points on the night) who failed to convert on Tim Thomas.
Easy to get lost in the "failed" effort, especially considering Florida had dual one-goal leads, including heading into the third frame. But where lesser Panthers squads would have wilted under the mounting of pressure of a Bruins comeback, this bunch - behind a very determined Clemmer - remained focused enough to essentially steal a point in OT. An excuse? Perhaps, but 33 points in the standings look a far cry better than 32 this morning.
Notes: David Booth and Mike Santorelli scored for FLA, with assists to Michael Frolik (2) and Bryan Allen. Michael Ryder (2), Zdeno Chara, and Wheeler added helpers to Krejci's goals. Clemmer stopped 40 shots, Thomas 32. Marty Reasoner led FLA skaters in SOG (4); Stephen Weiss paced with 23:30 TOI. Frolik regained the Panthers scoring lead with 23 points (8g). More from Stanley Cup of Chowder here. Next up: Montreal on Friday; Live Game Chat at 6 pm.
WJC rolls on:
Finland (0-1) meets Swtizerland (1-0) at 12:30 pm. Florida prospect Joonas Donskoi (0 points) represents for teh Finns.