Despite getting outplayed, the Florida Panthers managed to hang with the Boston Bruins on the scoreboard for two-plus periods, before Torey Krug scored 7:38 into the third period to snap a 1-1 tie and power the B's to a 5-2 win.
Boston went a perfect 5-0 against Florida this season and have taken fourteen of the last sixteen meetings, including the last eight, between the two clubs.
In his second game since rejoining the Panthers, Roberto Luongo was busy, turning aside 37 of the 41 shots he faced to help keep the Cats in the game.
Jimmy Hayes opened the scoring at the seven-minute mark of the second period. Hayes knocked a Nick Bjugstad rebound past B's goaltender Chad Johnson. Sean Bergenheim started the play by feeding Bjugstad in the slot.
Andrej Meszaros, in his first game with the Bruins, tied the game 2:38 later with a power-play goal. The Bruins got the man-advantage courtesy of a ghastly too many men on the ice call against the Cats.
Patrice Bergeron scored another power-play midway through the third period to give Boston a 3-1 lead before Hayes scored his second to pull the Panthers back to within a goal 39 seconds later. Jonathan Huberdeau made a nice play behind the net to get Hayes the puck. It was the first multi-goal game of Hayes' NHL career.
Jarome Iginla put a quick end to any Florida comeback hopes with his 20th goal of the season 23 seconds later.
Chris Kelly completed the scoring with 1:08 left in the game with an empty-net goal.
The Cats tried, but they were completely overwhelmed for the second time in the last six days, as the B's posted yet another three-goal win over them. The Panthers made too many mistakes, and the better B's made them pay for it. Sure, the Cats kept it close for a while, but after getting outshot 27-15 over the first two periods, it wasn't at all surprising to see Boston blow by them in the third. Florida just doesn't match up well with Boston right now, something that needs to addressed in the offseason if the Panthers want to become a true player in the Atlantic Division. The Phoenix Coyotes make a rare visit to the BB&T Center on Tuesday night to complete the homestand. For more on this one, check out the always wicked awesome Stanley Cup of Chowder.