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Panthers 4, Bruins 2 -- Welp.

Everything is awful. Win on Saturday.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Let's see, well, this was bad and the Bruins have lost control of their playoff destiny with one game to play. It didn't start that way, with Boston outplaying Florida early and Patrice Bergeron scoring a PPG after drawing a penalty. Aleksander Barkov equaled the score at 1-1 with his own PP snipe, assisted by ol' pal Jaromir Jagr, but things hadn't completely fallen apart yet. Frankly, the changes Claude made were good ones, overall, and, despite the fact that the Bruins came in on short rest, they really only started to look like it late in the second.

But that third period. Oh, that third period. I really have no idea why the post-game report is still harping on the second period. The third period was when everything went to buffalo excrement wrapped in stale pumpernickel bread. It started when Johnathan Huberdeau scored a somewhat fluky goal after a failed Reilly Smith clear (not a surprise if you've been watching Smith recently). The up-and-coming Huberdeau lifted a laser of a backhand from a bad angle. How exactly it deflected off Tuukka Rask's mask and over his shoulder on the same side, we'll never really know, as the bounce kinda seemed to defy physics. Rask didn't pick up the puck coming off the backhand side of Huberdeau's stick, in part because Zdeno Chara was in the process of stepping up to Huberdeau. Hockey is evil sometimes.

The Bruins were tired and down a goal--don't mistake this for an excuse, every team has back-to-backs and the Bruins needed to deal with this one better--but only once bounce from tying it up. Sadly, Florida got the next one, too, and if the 2nd Florida goal was unfortunate, the 3rd was pretty bad. Dennis Seidenberg and Torey Krug proved that their pairing just cannot clear a zone reliably against good players. Brad Boyes is a good player, and he took advantage of the pairing, especially Seids, getting caught running around. 3-1, and there was nothing Rask could do on this one. At least the first two goals had been assisted by a Hall of Famer (Jagr is now 4th all-time in points, passing Ron Francis tonight): the third was assisted by Dave Bolland.

Naturally, because this season is this season, Brad Marchand would provide a glimmer of hope. After a tour of the offensive zone by David Krejci, Marchand received the puck and skated out from behind the net before roofing a slumpbuster goal off the crossbar. A bolt from the blue, beating Luongo cleanly, 3-2.

Alright, remember Dennis Seidenberg? I like Seidenberg. He was a big part of the super-pairing in the Stanley Cup year. I used to like Seidenberg, the hockey player, too. I do not anymore, save for happy memories. Not two minutes after Marchand's lifeline, Seidenberg inexplicably turned over the puck to Jimmy Hayes. The play came on the tail end of a Florida rush being broken up, barely, just over the blue line. Seidenberg skated to the loose puck and totally inexplicably nubbed the puck to Hayes, who buried it. 4-2. Dagger.

I wish I could say I was overstating how bad the play by Seidenberg was. If anything, I'm understating it by not writing a book about it. I miss Dougie Hamilton.

The Bruins now need at least a point at Tampa on Saturday, or their season is over.


Tomorrow I guess we're all New York Islanders fans, as Boston still trails Pittsburgh by only a point. Detroit grabbed a point tonight in an OT loss to Montreal. Tampa won. And, as you may have heard, the Senators beat the New York Rangers JV Squad (I'm not ragging on them, they earned the right to rest their guys and almost got Lundqvist hurt by playing him tonight).


You may commence the swearing.