Despite their losing record, the Florida Panthers have been pretty competitive on a game by game basis this season. One team they haven't been able to get a handle on however, is the Boston Bruins. David Krejci scored three goals to lead the Bruins to another easy win, 4-1, over the turnover-prone Cats last night at TD Garden. Boston has now won all four meetings this year. The teams tussle one more time, on Sunday at the BB&T Center to complete the season series.
Krejci opened the scoring at the 7:29 mark of the first period, capitalizing on a turnover by Panthers defenseman Tom Gilbert.
The Panthers keep things close on the scoreboard until Krejci lit the lamp again with 48 seconds left in the second period. Kevan Miller drew the only assist on the goal.
Brian Campbell finally got Florida on the board 12:47 into the final frame, beating Chad Johnson with a backhander to end the goalie's shutout bid. Sean Bergenheim picked up the only helper on the goal, which was Campbell's sixth.
Krecji completed his big night with an empty-net marker with 14 seconds left in the game. The outburst raised his goal total to sixteen on the season.
Tim Thomas had a strong game for the Cats, stopping 35 of the 38 shots he faced. Yes, he gave up three, but this one could have been a lot worse had it not been for the veteran netminder.
Not a surprising result at all last night. The Panthers just don't match up well with the physically-imposing Bruins and didn't bring their best game to try to make up for that fact. Florida has been way too yielding since they have come back from the Olympic break and last night they couldn't come up with any goals to make the game interesting. If the Cats don't start taking better care of things in their own end it's going to be a long last 20 games for Thomas and new battery-mate Roberto Luongo.
Odds & Ends
- The Bruins have now won seven straight against the Cats. Florida's last win against the B's came on March 5, 2012. The Panthers need figure out a way to pick up some points against Boston next season.
- Chad Johnson had pretty easy outing, only needing to make 23 saves to post his 12th win. He did get some help from the post as Brad Boyes and Bergenheim came close to scoring in the third period, but both rang the iron instead.
- The Cats penalty kill emerged unscathed as they managed to kill off both of Boston's power play opportunities.
- New center Brandon Pirri had an uneventful night, finishing the game with no shots on goal and going just 3 for 10 on face-offs in 10:44 of ice time.
- Struggling scorers Tomas Fleischmann (4) and Jonathan Huberdeau (3) led the team in shots, but neither could dent Johnson.
- The Panthers finished up their three-game road trip with a 1-2 record. The Cats next three are at home as they welcome in the Buffalo Sabres, Boston, and the Phoenix Coyotes.
- For more on last night's tilt, have yourself a steaming bowl of Stanley Cup of Chowder as part of a nutritious, well-balanced breakfast.