Bruins vs. Panthers recap: Bruins hold on after strong start

Joel Auerbach

The (real, non empty-net) scoring may have petered out after the beginning of the second period, but the Bruins were able to stay relatively strong defensively to fiinish off the struggling Florida Panthers.

A 4-1 win in their only game at BB&T Center this season is an excellent thing. They take four points out of the yearly Florida road trip to improve to 11-2-2 and fourth in the East, with only Montreal ahead of them in the Northeast. The Bruins have three games in hand on Montreal, as well.

The breakdown

Pluses:

+ The Bruins' goal differential on the penalty kill is -1. They've only allowed one more goal (three total) than they've SCORED on the PK. The next closest team in PK differential is Chicago, who have allowed seven and scored one shorthanded. Incredible.

+ Zdeno Chara...excuse me, Zdangles McSpinorama Chara....wow, those moves. Pretty inconceivable for a guy of his size to have the ability to move like that.

+ The power play hasn't looked TOO heinous the last few games. All six of their PPGs have come on the road this year; six in eight games. Granted, tonight's goal seemed to come as a result of Claude throwing in the towel and sending a non-PP group out there....but they scored it anyways, and that's what matters.

+ Milan Lucic's first goal was pretty nice.

+ Tyler Seguin's save early in the game was EXCELLENT. Strong work by Seguin pulling the puck off the goal line like that - doubly so since the Panthers' in-game staff had already started to set the goal horn off. Joke's on you, BB&T Center!

+ 21 straight killed penalties aw yeah.

+ Tuukka Rask looked sharp, making 34 saves on 35 shots tonight.

Minuses:

- Milan Lucic needs to calm the fuck down. His 10-minute misconduct was completely unnecessary; although the call should easily have resulted in a penalty the other way, you can't TAKE those sorts of misconducts. Nonsense.

- Johnny Boychuk lead the team in ES TOI. He and Ference were also directly responsible for the Panthers' lone goal. Those two on the ice together seem to spell disaster; is sheltering Dougie Hamilton's minutes really worth the defensive lapses?

- Hamilton played 13:30 total minutes tonight, a rise from last game's 10:00 but not by much. He's young, yes, and sheltering him is probably in his best interests, but it'd be nice to see him get a little more time than that going forward.

Next game is on the Island, Bruins vs. Islanders Tuesday at 7PM. The grind is about to start.

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