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RECAP: Bruins lose to Panthers in spectacular fashion, squandering a four-goal lead

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Tuukka wants all those goals back, sure, but the Bruins wilted in front of him during the third period.

NHL: Florida Panthers at Boston Bruins Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

First Period

Little occurred that’s worth reporting. It took almost the whole period to get to ten shots TOTAL between the teams (though, #fancystats prevail: Boston had double the chances as Florida). Zdeno Chara stood up and then sat down Colton Sceviour at the Bruins’ blue line, which was fun.

Urho Vaakanainen had a solid debut. Definitely got roughed up a little by a passing Panther as they exited the zone, but otherwise solid. I mean, no goals against while you’re on the ice is decent. He had a couple crisp passes to the attacking blue line, which is a kinda crucial skill from the defensive end in today’s NHL.

Also, a Matt Grzelcyk shot was blocked by Mike Hoffman’s stick, which broke in half, and STILL hit the player. You could tell it stung but he finished his shift.

Second Period

A funky start; as Boston had a penalty to deal with from the end of the first (McAvoy, high-stick, valid), they started on the kill... and as Keith Yandle wound up to slap a rebound towards the net, the lights on the rink went dark for a couple seconds. Then, after Boston killed the penalty, Florida was held up from changing their lines... until they were allowed to change their line. really strange.

ANYWHO, BACK TO THE HOCKEY.

The funk continued, just kidding. Bruins forward Charlie Coyle tried a neat but unsuccessful one-hand shot as he charged the net from the outside lane, which Sergei Bobrovsky stopped esaily. Zach Senyshyn had an awkward collision near the penalty boxes and struggled to get off the ice; he did not return for another shift.

Bruins defense let Aaron Ekblad waltz in uncovered to the faceoff dot to the left of Rask and receive a one-timer from behind the net. Anders Bjork had an outstanding shift just following another penalty, this time to Bergeron, and would have kept play alive in the attacking zone had McAvoy, well... received his pass.

And then, like the day breaks, light dawned on the B’s. A solid effort to stand up Florida’s attacking zone entry gave Pastrnak and what felt like the entire Boston bench (but really, just Brad Marchand) an odd-man rush. He waited, waited, waited... and shot. Pasta don’t miss from the high slot.

Minutes later, another solid effort to keep play moving the right direction - this time, an active stick from Charlie Coyle in front of the Boston bench moved the puck right to Joakim Nordstrom. He had time to skate down the wall, then cut towards the net in the left circle and fired home a five-hole goal to give Boston the two-goal lead.

An embarrassment of riches this period was. Anders Bjork pads the lead with a power-play tally, from the same vicinity as Nordstrom’s goal. 3-0, with just a couple minutes remaining in the second.

Zdeno Chara was given all the time in the world to shoot from one bad angle, circle the net, and shoot again as the puck found its way back to him.

A four-goal lead... is that bad?

Third Period

NOT a great start. I take full responsibility for placing the above GIF before the period started, and do not regret it EDIT: TOTALLY REGRET IT. What the Bruins should probably regret is Marchand taking that penalty instead of letting his team have an advantage. Then, Joakim Nordstrom’s stick broke, and there was all kinds of time and space in the B’s offensive zone. Aaron Ekblad can shoot the puck.

Minutes later, Chris Wagner took a and former Bruin Frank Vatrano used Florida’s man advantage to bring the Panthers within two.

Are your worst nightmares coming to life yet? No?

How about now! Kuraly’s hook gave Florida yet another chance, and Hoffman delivered.

After a penalty in the Bruins’ favor was killed off, in no small part due to the repetitive nature of Boston’s power play cycle (and the hammer of a shot by Pastrnak that seems to skate itself out of the zone after he shoots it), it looked like Boston might have gone into a defensive shell... which IS FALSE, because that would imply that they were ready to play defense first.

A short-range give-and-go from Barkov to Huberdeau and back left the latter with space to charge the front of the net, and though that effort didn’t score, the followup from Keith Yandle sure did.

Nightmare, consider yourself lived.

OVERTIME

Marchand had a breakaway, and couldn’t finish it on Montembeault. Otherwise, not much to report.

SHOOTOUT

Trocheck and Coyle scored in the first three shooters, and Hoffman tallied one in the fourth round. Charlie McAvoy was sent out, and missed the final attempt.

WELL THAT WAS TERRIBLE.

At least it’s over now.