The Bruins were able to edge out the Florida Panthers 3-2 in a shootout on Monday night at Bank Atlantic Center to gain possession of first place in the Northeast Division. David Krejci (2 goals) led the way for the Bruins offensively, while Tim Thomas (32 saves) held the fort with some huge saves to keep the Bruins in the game and Blake Wheeler provided the game-winner in the shootout.
The Bruins controlled play for the first 20 minutes, but it was David Booth that gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead 1:02 into the second period. Steven Kampfer tried to make a clearing pass that was batted down by Michael Frolik and found it's way on to the stick of Booth at the left circle. Booth wheeled into the slot and fired a quick snap shot that beat Tim Thomas up high on the stick side for his 9th goal of the season.
David Krejci's backhander in the slot off a rebound in front evened it up at 1-1 at 9:05 of the second period. Zdeno Chara's blast from the high slot was stopped by Scott Clemmensen and the rebound was picked up by Michael Ryder. Ryder's bid from in close was swatted away by Clemmensen and ended up on the blade of Krejci's stick for the put-back.
Florida regained the lead on a fluky goal by Mike Santorelli with 4:09 left to play in the second period. Michael Frolik threw the puck towards the net from along the left wing boards at the blue line. Santorelli, who was positioned between the circles deflected the puck out of mid-air with what appeared to be a high-stick and the puck found its way past Thomas for the 2-1 lead. The play was reviewed, but there was not conclusive evidence to overturn the call on the ice.
David Krejci knotted the game up at 2-2 with 9:25 remaining in the third period. Blake Wheeler's centering pass from the left wing found Krejci in the slot. Krejci received the pass on the forehand, took one stride to his left and roofed a backhander past Clemmensen for his second goal of the game.
The Bruins had a few good opportunities to score the game-winner in overtime including a pair of hat trick bids in the slot by David Krejci in the final minute, but the score remained tied after 65 minutes of hockey.
FLA: Mike Santorelli's tried to go 5-hole with his forehand attempt and was stopped by the pads of Tim Thomas.
BOS: Tyler Seguin's snap shot was kicked out by the left pad of Scott Clemmensen.
FLA: Backhand attempt by Weiss stopped by Thomas with the left pad.
BOS: Wheeler deked, lost control of the puck, and jammed it in between Clemmensen's left skate and the right post. (GOAL)
FLA: Thomas stops Dadonov's attempt with his right pad.
- The Bruins out-shot the Panthers 42-34.
- It is nice to see the fire and emotion out of Milan Lucic, but he needs to stay in control and focus that energy. He was lucky to escape a suspension for his actions in Thursday's game against Atlanta. Then tonight, he got away with a hit from behind and few slashes and punches away from the play. All of these came late in the game when he could have put his team in a hole.
-Apparently, the Panthers' mascot is on the IR.
- Milan Lucic recorded a game-high 9 hits.
- It was a great performance by the Wheeler, Krejci, Ryder line tonight. Now, the only dilemma is what to call them.
- The scoresheet will tell a different story, but the B's really controlled play in this game up until the third period when Florida turned on the offensive pressure. The Panthers were able to take advantage of a turnover for their first goal and scored a controversial second goal.
- The Bruins are back in action tomorrow night when they continue their Southeastern tour in Tampa Bay.
- For more on tonight's game, head over to Litter Box Cats