Thursday, March 24, 2016

Panthers Regain First Place Over Bruins

     The Florida Panthers played the second game of a three-game road trip and regained first place in the Atlantic Division as they defeated the Boston Bruins 4-1 at TD Garden on Thursday night. The Panthers stopped a nine-game winless streak in Boston going back in December 2011. The B's reached a five-game losing streak with the defeat.
     The Panthers had two shots in the first 15 minutes of the contest and only five shots after 24 minutes. Following a scoreless first period, Boston waited until midway through the second period to score at 7:42. Ryan Spooner turned at the top right circle as he put a wrist shot through traffic and by Roberto Luongo.
     Reilly Smith burned his former team as Florida tied the game at 13:51 of the second as they pulled off a three-man weave play. Jussi Jokinen performed a give-and-go pass with Smith in the right circle. He then backhanded a pass to Vincent Trocheck in the in low slot. The shot by Trocheck was saved by Tuukka Rask, however Smith scored on the rebound from the top crease.
     The Cats took the lead 2-1 with 1:14 remaining in the frame on their fourth shorthanded goal of the season. Alex Petrovic knocked away a pass deep in his zone ahead to Trocheck. He skated the puck out into center ice and in the Bruins zone before he released a shot from the top right circle.
     In the third period, Florida extended their margin to 3-1 at 10:56. Steven Kampfer sent a cross-ice pass from the left wing to Dmitry Kulikov on the right side. His slapshot was redirected in by Jokinen from the slot area. Jonathan Huberdeau capped things with an empty-net goal with 20.9 seconds left with assists from Jaromir Jagr and Aleksander Barkov.

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