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Recap: Bruins defeat Panthers in wild 7-3 game

It was chaotic at times, but the Boston Bruins still managed to come away with the W.

Florida Panthers v Boston Bruins Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images

The Boston Bruins topped the Florida Panthers, 7-3, tonight at the TD Garden in a win that nearly saw a four-goal lead lost, but then regained.

The Bruins were up 3-0 after the first period and 4-0 not even two minutes into the second period before the Panthers would score three straight to come within one score in a chaotic second period.

A goal from David Krejci gave a little breathing room heading into the locker room before a pair of goals from Patrice Bergeron in the final frame added cushion to secure a 7-3 win and another four-goal lead over Florida to close out the 60 minutes.

Here are the highlights!

First period:

The Bruins opened the scoring at 10:51 of the first period.

Connor Clifton, skating down the right side, threw a pass out front intended for Taylor Hall. Clifton wrapped around the net to find the pass that Hall barely touched on the other side at the bottom of the left-wing circle where he put a quick shot past Spencer Knight. 1-0 Bruins.

The Bruins took a two-goal lead at 14:04 of the first period.

From a strong rush, Brad Marchand found Brandon Carlo skating down the center lane where he put a wrist shot over Knight’s glove. 2-0 Bruins.

The Bruins cushioned their lead at 16:07 of the first period.

Trent Frederic hit Charlie Coyle with a pass inside the right-wing circle where he blasted a wrist shot over Knight’s blocker. 3-0 Bruins.

Second period:

The Bruins took a four-goal lead at 1:38 of the second period on the power play.

The rebound from Patrice Bergeron’s shot out front found David Pastrnak low inside the left-wing circle for a quick shot past Knight’s blocker. 4-0 Bruins.

The Panthers got one back at 3:02 of the second period.

Sam Reinhart found the rebound from Matt Kiersted’s long shot from the point to put a low shot past Linus Ullmark. 4-1 game.

The Panthers cut their deficit in half at 5:42 of the second period.

Gustav Forsling hit Eric Staal with a one-timer inside the right-wing circle to beat Ullmark between his glove and the post. 4-2 game.

The Panthers tightened the score at 8:22 of the second period.

Sam Reinhart threw a shot on net. Carter Verhaeghe found the rebound in the slot and backhanded the puck through his legs, and then through Ullmark’s five-hole. 4-3 game.

The Bruins regained a two-goal lead at 11:50 of the second period.

Hampus Lindholm rang the post, but the loose puck came out to Krejci who fired a blast past Knight at the back door. 5-3 Bruins.

Third period:

The Bruins extended their lead at 8:52 of the third period.

Bergeron picked up a pass at the blue line, skated into the zone and inside the right-wing circle threw a wrist shot past Knight. 6-3 Bruins.

The Bruins regained their four-goal lead at 13:18 of the third period on the power play and Bergeron’s second goal of the night.

Bergeron picked up the rebound from Lindholm’s shot and put a backhander past Knight. Final score: 7-3 Bruins.

Game notes:

  • With the win, the Bruins improved to 17-0-2 at home and have continued to register a point in every home game.
  • The first period was predominantly 5v5, as there was only one penalty in the period and called on Florida.
  • The Bruins were outshot 39-26 by the Panthers. In the second period alone, the Panthers outshot them 19-7. But it seems as though the Bruins had a little more puck luck tonight and were in the right spots out front on rebounds that the shot count didn’t matter for them in the long run.
  • The second period and spurts of the other frames felt chaotic. There was a slow pace set at the very beginning of the game, followed by three goals from the Bruins and then too much looseness that the Panthers were able to bounce back and get some good offensive zone coverage.
  • Head Coach Jim Montgomery felt his team wasn’t playing great with the lead, and that’s been a problem recently. He said they’ve managed to find ways to win, but there’ll be games that isn’t the case. Montgomery said that up four goals, the Bruins were still playing for offense rather than keeping pucks in their possession which forced some turnovers and defensive mistakes.
  • Ullmark stepped up his game in the third period and closed things out on the backend while Bergeron added a pair of insurance goals to calm the period down. Ullmark picked up some defensive errors in the slot and his glove was on in the final 20 minutes.
  • Six players had multi-point nights and it was an impactful offensive game for the defense. Clifton opened the scoring and registered two points. Carlo netted his first goal of the season. Lindholm assisted on both of Bergeron’s goals.
  • Bergeron ended the night with four points on two goals and two assists.
  • The Bruins return to the TD Garden on Thursday, Dec. 22 to face the Winnipeg Jets at 7 p.m.