|Blake Wheeler scores in shootout to lead Bruins past Panthers||12.27.10 at 10:09 pm ET|
Blake Wheeler beat Scott Clemmensen for the only goal of the shootout, and Tim Thomas improved to 17-4-3 as the Bruins defeated the Panthers, 3-2, on Monday night in Florida.
David Krejci provided the Bruins with two goals, beating Clemmensen on a rebound in the second period and finishing with on the back-hand in the third. Michael Ryder received assists on both goals, while Wheeler and Zdeno Chara each had a helper.
David Booth and Mike Santorelli each had goals for the Panthers in the second period. Santorelli’s was reviewed to determine if his stick was above crossbar height when he redirected a Michael Frolik shot from the point.
With the victory, the Bruins jumped into third in the Eastern Conference, as they now have 42 points, tied with the Canadiens for most in the Northeast division. The B’s are now first in the division, as they have played 34 games to the Habs’ 36. The Bruins will face the Lightning in Tampa on Tuesday night.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- A couple of unflattering streaks were broken on Krejci’s first goal. It was the 24-year-old center’s first goal in five games and his first point in three games, while the assist for Chara was his first point in seven contests.
It was the Krejci’s fourth career two-goal game. He now has seven goals on the season.
- The members of the Wheeler – Krejci – Ryder line seems to be enjoying their reunion. The line was the Bruins’ most consistent of the night and had solid opportunities in each period.
Krejci led the Bruins with six shots on goal, while Ryder was second with five.
- It’s hard to believe that with all he’s done this season, Thomas had one of his best showings in a game in which he allowed two goals, but he truly kept the Bruins in the game. Thomas came up big on breakaways for Chris Higgins and Marty Reasoner and was sound on odd-man rushes.
Perhaps the save of the game came with just over two minutes left, with Thomas diving across the net to stop Dennis Wideman off a pass from Booth.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- Rookie Steven Kampfer had a blunder that cost the the Bruins for the first time. The 22-year-old Michigan product turned it over in his own end, leading to David Booth — who is dangerous enough when he isn’t handed opportunities — bearing Thomas with a snap shot.
- The Lucic – Savard – Horton line didn’t fare quite as well as Krejci’s, as Horton and Savard were the only Bruins on the ice for both Panthers goals.
- The Bruins had a couple of avoidable penalties called against them. Chara went off for a dive in the first, while Thomas was called for delay of game when he played the puck outside of the trapezoid late in the second period.
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