|What went right as Bruins beat Panthers||03.14.13 at 9:26 pm ET|
As of Thursday, the Bruins and Panthers will both rivals in Division C next year, so perhaps that’s why both turned in C-grade efforts Thursday night. Either way, the Bruins got out of it with a 4-1 win thanks to goals from Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron and Shawn Thornton. Bergeron had two goals, one of which was an empty-netter.
With the victory, the B’s improved to 18-4-3 on the season, giving them 39 points. They sit one point behind the idle Canadiens, who lead the Northeast Division and Eastern Conference with 40 points but have played 27 games to the Bruins’ 25.
Here’s what went right and wrong in the win:
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- There was great puck movement throughout the ice for the B’s on Bergeron’s first goal, starting in their own end. Dennis Seidenberg started by getting the puck to Andrew Ference, who sent it up to Seguin in the neutral zone. With the trio of Seguin, Brad Marchand and Bergeron breaking into the zone, Seguin fed Marchand on the left wing, who sent it back down low to Bergeron, who capitalized with his seventh goal of the season.
Bergeron now has six goals and 11 assists for 17 points over his last 13 games.
- The fourth line came through once again on Boston’s third goal, which came as the result of some extra hard work from Shawn Thornton. After taking a feed from Daniel Paille, Shawn Thornton sent the puck across the crease but stuck with the play, going around the net and getting to the puck from the other side after it bounced off a Florida skate and putting it in for his third goal of the season. The fourth line has now scored in three of Boston’s last four games.
- Entering Tuesday’s game against the Penguins, Zdeno Chara was on pace to have his worst offensive season since 2001-02, but he’s changed that with goals in back-to-back games. After a puck bounced to him at the left circle off a David Krejci missed shot, Chara bombed a slap shot past Scott Clemmensen to give him his sixth goal of the season and open the game’s scoring.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- The Bruins played like a time that was 100 percent positive they were playing the Panthers, and that effort wouldn’t have yielded two points against too many other teams. It was a largely uninspired and careless showing for Boston, with not a strong enough attack and turnovers aplenty. Fortunately for the B’s, the competition didn’t take advantage.
The B’s mustered just seven shots on goal in the second period.
- If both Dougie Hamilton and Tuukka Rask stuck with the play as much as Shawn Matthias did on his goal, perhaps the unassisted shorthanded goal — the first shorthanded goal the B’s have allowed this season — would not have been scored. Hamilton and Matthias were both chasing the puck in the Bruins’ zone and went down upon reaching it. Matthias sprung back up with the puck and beat a seemingly surprised Rask, while Hamilton was slower to get up and tried to swing a stick to break up the play. His efforts were too late, as Matthias put it past Rask far side.
- David Krejci’s line got its chances, but the scoring slumps for Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton continued. Lucic has now gone 10 games without a goal, while Horton’s goal-less stretch reached eight games. Both players had plenty of opportunities Thursday night, with Lucic just missing an opportunity to make it 3-1 in the third. With Horton and Lucic driving to the net, Horton sent it to Lucic in front. With plenty of space, the puck bounced off Lucic’s skate and the puck was wide and past the net by the time he gained control.
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