By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty
Home: Florida Panthers
Away: Boston Bruins
Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak
Ritchie – Krejci – Kase
DeBrusk – Coyle – Wagner
Bjork – Kuraly – Nordstrom
Chara – McAvoy
Krug – Carlo
Grzelcyk – Lauzon
Huberdeau – Barkov – Dadonov
Vatrano – Haula – Hoffman
Toninato – Wallmark – Connolly
Sceviour – Acciari – Pysyk
Weegar – Ekblad
Stillman – Stralman
Yandle – Matheson
The Bruins stayed in Florida after a 2-1 win over the Lightning this past Tuesday night for a tilt with the Panthers. Anders Bjork made his way back into the lineup after sitting out the last two games as a healthy scratch as the Bruins searched for their fourth win in a row. Jaroslav Halak, opposed by Chris Driedger, got the start in net.
Ondrej Kase left the game at the 8:19 mark after making incidental leg-to-leg contact with Evgeni Dadonov. Kase was penalized as a result for tripping and Jake DeBrusk served the penalty for his injured teammate. The Bruins ended up killing the penalty and Kase returned to the bench shortly after the conclusion of it.
Nick Ritchie dropped the gloves with Riley Stillman less than a minute later and really pulled his weight in what was a great fight. Ritchie and Stillman each received fighting majors as a result.
With 58.2 seconds remaining, Mike Matheson took a tripping penalty, giving the Bruins their first power play of the game. Despite a couple of solid chances, the Bruins couldn’t score before the end of the period and the game remained scoreless. The Bruins outshot the Panthers 10-4 in the first period.
What would have been a sure goal on his patented power play one-timer hopped up on David Pastrnak, prohibiting him to get a clean shot off. The power play soon concluded for the Bruins.
MacKenzie Weegar broke the scoreless tie on a one-timer from just inside the offensive blue line. It was 1-0 Panthers with 13:05 remaining. Just about four minutes later, Brandon Carlo took an elbow up high from Dadonov and went down in pain. The officials reviewed the play to determine how to penalize it, and determined it was a two-minute minor for elbowing.
The penalty was assessed with 9:14 remaining, and Patrice Bergeron tipped a Torey Krug shot past Driedger and in at the nine-minute mark. Bergeron’s 30th goal of the season was assisted by Krug (39) and Marchand (57). This is the third straight season that Bergeron has hit 30 goals and the sixth of his career.
Aleksander Barkov took a tripping penalty not long after the goal, and the Panthers killed it off to keep the game tied. Brad Marchand went off for hooking not too long after the Barkov penalty. That penalty was also killed off. The clock eventually hit zero and the score stayed tied at one. Florida flipped the script and outshot the Bruins 15-5 in the period, bringing the total to 19-17 in their favor.
Former Bruin Frank Vatrano put the Panthers on the penalty kill early, as he broke Jeremy Lauzon’s stick with a slash. The first power play of the period for the Bruins came just two minutes and four seconds in. The power play didn’t last long, as Charlie Coyle went off for tripping 54 seconds later. Vatrano touched the puck while one of his skates was still in the penalty box as he was exiting it, so he went right back in for interference, creating 52 seconds of 4-on-4 time.
Bad news came in the form of Brandon Carlo’s absence for the rest of the game. Pastrnak also took a tripping penalty, so things weren’t going great to start the third period. Crazily enough, no one managed to score during any of this chaos.
The rest of regulation wasn’t all that eventful. A few decent chances, but nothing too crazy. Shots in the period were 12-7, bringing the game total to 31-24 in favor of the Panthers.
Overtime was eventful. A couple great chances went both ways, including this one from Barkov, the best one. This was the best one until Krug sent a point hammer past Driedger with 51.2 seconds left to end it. Krug’s ninth goal of the season was assisted by Pastrnak (46) and Krejci (29).
The final shots were 33-28 in favor of the Panthers. The Bruins avoided the shootout and capped off their fourth straight win in the process. Halak made 32 saves in the win and made some massive, timely saves. Next up are the Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden on Saturday at TD Garden at 7:00 PM ET. The Bruins are 43-13-12.