Saturday, April 1, 2017

Bruins Bid Goodbye To Thornton And Panthers

     The Florida Panthers played a rare afternoon game on Saturday as they fell to the Boston Bruins 5-2 at TD Garden. The Panthers lost every game of their four-game road trip. The Bruins extended their winning streak to four games.
     It was the final time that Shawn Thornton played against his former team. He helped the Bruins win their first Stanley Cup championship in 39 years back in 2011. He was named third star of the game by the local media following the game.
     Florida(33-34-11) began sluggish as they had only one shot in the first ten minutes of the contest and two in the first 13 minutes. Boston(42-30-6) got up 1-0 with 2:57 left in the first period when Noel Acciari raced down the middle of the ice for a breakaway and scored on a wrist shot during a delayed penalty.
     There was plenty of scoring by both clubs during the second period. The Panthers responded early as Thomas Vanek scored his 17th goal of the season at 1:38 on a feed by Nick Bjugstad.
     The B's regained the lead at the 7:56 mark. David Pastrnak set up Zdeno Chara for a one-time slap shot from the top left circle which was stopped by Reto Berra, however Patrice Bergeron slapped in the rebound from the low right circle.
     Jaromir Jagr tied the game 2-2 for the Panthers at 9:53 on the power play as he put in a snap shot from the slot area past Tuukka Rask for his 16th goal this season and 765th NHL goal in his career. Keith Yandle and Jonathan Marchessault were credited with assists on the play.
     The Bruins capitalized on a bad turnover and got their third lead of the contest with 5:30 remaining in the second. Berra came out of his crease to clear the puck up the boards. David Krejci ripped a slap shot from the right point that bounced off Berra in the low right circle and into the Panthers cage.   
     Boston received a power play in the final two minutes of the third period and they were able to convert. Ryan Spooner took a shot from the right point then Brad Marchand roofed a shot from the right side of the crease for his 39th goal of the season with 1:44 to go.
     Bergeron added an empty-net goal from the slot off a Jonathan Huberdeau giveaway in front of his own net with 11.9 seconds left. It was his second tally of the game and the 20th goal of the campaign.

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