Bruins destroy Panthers, win sixth straight
|12.23.11 at 9:30 pm ET|
The Bruins wanted to head into Christmas break on a high note. If it got any higher, it would probably be inaudible.
Brad Marchand had a hat trick and a career-high five points, and Tuukka Rask recorded his second shutout of the season as the Bruins trounced the Panthers to the tune of an 8-0 final. Patrice Bergeron had a goal and an assist for three points.
Marchand got the B’s on the board with a shorthanded goal at 5:56 of the first period, and Milan Lucic scored on the power play at 13:40. Benoit Pouliot and Dennis Seidenberg added goals to make it 4-0 at the end of the first period. Gregory Campbell and Bergeron scored in the second period to make it 6-0, with Marchand adding his second of the night 1:53 into the third.
Rask made 30 saves in the contest, improving to 7-4-1 on the season. The Bruins will next play Wednesday in Phoenix.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Marchand now leads the Bruins with 15 goals this season, as he surpassed linemate Tyler Seguin. His first goal of the night was also his first shorthanded tally of the season. The pesky forward had five goals on the power play last season.
– Pouliot now has goals in three straight games and has played a large role in the Bruins’ six-game game winning streak. His goal was one of the prettiest tallies you’ll see all season, as he took a pass from Chris Kelly after Kelly won the face-off in the Bruins zone and took the puck the length of the ice. With one man to beat, Pouliot absolutely broke Dmitry Kulikov’s ankles with some fancy stick work and deked Theodore for his seventh goal of the season. A lot of players could be considered “in the zone” right now, and Pouliot’s certainly one of them.
– Lucic didn’t show any rust after sitting out Monday’s game due a league-mandated suspension for his hit from behind Saturday on Zac Rinaldo. Lucic scored one of the Bruins’ four first-period goals, parking out front on the power play and sending a puck past Theodore after a Bergeron shot from the point missed wide and bounced off the endboards to the 23-year-old left wing.
– As though the score didn’t do a good enough job telling that things went the Bruins’ way, the B’s even got some lucky bounces. Bergeron’s goal came when a pass to the front of the net bounced off Ed Jovanowski and in, while Marchand’s second goal wasn’t even put on net. The second-year forward was trying to send a pass through the Panthers’ zone, but it bounced off a Panthers player and past Clemmensen.
– Zach Hamill played in place of Rich Peverley, and once again showed he is very capable of handling NHL minutes. The former eighth overall pick (2007) saw time on both the power play and the penalty kill. His strong play is certainly hurting Jordan Caron’s case for playing time.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Nobody has more holiday spirit than me, but an arena-wide “Mer-ry Christ-mas” chant doesn’t exactly scream “intimidating building to play in.” The Garden crowd busted that chant out in the second period, making for perhaps the only pleasant moment of the night for the Panthers.