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David Krejci hat trick leads Bruins past Panthers on eve of trade deadline

On the same day that Tim Thomas [1] found out he would become Roberto Luongo [2]‘s teammate, his former team handed him a loss as the Bruins defeated the Panthers, 4-1, Tuesday at TD Garden.

David Krejci [3] had a hat trick for the B’s, with the first goal coming off a Tom Gilbert giveaway by the net at 7:29 of the first period. A Jarome Iginla goal at 11:01 of the period sent the B’s into the first intermission with a 2-0 lead, which Krejci added to in the second with a beauty of a shot from the high slot.

The Bruins were without Loui Eriksson, who was kept out of the lineup with what Claude Julien [4] called a “minor issue.” Jordan Caron filled in for Eriksson and picked up the primary assist on Iginla’s goal. Caron fired a shot off Thomas’ mask off the rush, with Iginla getting the rebound and sending it under a diving Thomas’ glove.

Chad Johnson [5]‘s shutout bid was broken up with 7:13 remaining in the game, when a lazy Brian Campbell backhander from the point went off Matt Bartkowski‘s stick and in. Johnson still picked up the win, improving to 12-4-1 on the season. Krejci registered an empty-netter with 13.3 seconds left.

The Bruins will next play Thursday against the Capitals, though the roster may look different after Wednesday’s trade deadline.


– With his hat trick showing Tuesday, Krejci now has 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists) over his last 15 games.

Shawn Thornton [6] got in his 100th fight as a member of the Bruins when he dropped the gloves with Krys Barch in the second period. It was fitting that Thornton’s 100th dance partner with the B’s was Barch, as the two are no strangers to one another. The former AHL teammates have now fought each other eight times at the NHL [7] level. Barch also fought Milan Lucic [8] Tuesday.

Torey Krug‘s ice time was back up after he played a season-low 12:50 in Sunday night’s game against the Rangers, a game that featured no Boston power plays. Krug played 15:07 Tuesday and nearly picked up a goal in the second period when a shot trickled through Thomas but was cleared by a Florida player before it went into the net.

– Johnson was rather shaky last Wednesday as Boston suffered a 5-4 overtime loss in its first game back from the break, so Tuesday’s victory marked an encouraging bounceback effort. He benefited from at least three hit posts Tuesday, but the Bruins will take a one-goal performance however they can get it.


– Though Caron played well against the Panthers, he also took a pair of penalties. Caron was whistled for tripping Brandon Pirri in the first period and took a boarding penalty in the final seconds of the second period.

– Speaking of penalties, the Bruins didn’t have any power plays Tuesday and have only had one over their last two games. They’ve managed to score nine goals in that span and remain the best 5-on-5 team in the league, but it’s a lot easier to generate offense when you spend some actual time on the man advantage.