THE BRUINS HOSTED THEIR DIVISIONAL RIVALS FROM EAST FLORIDA TONIGHT AT TD GARDEN.
The game was kicked off by a nice ceremony of New England based Olympians with Aly Raisman being at the forefront. The puck was dropped and the 1st was focused heavily on special teams. The Bruins had the 1st powerplay of the night and moved the puck impressively. Ryan Spooner had a great chance when there was a cross crease pass but Luongo absolutely stoned him with a gorgeous glove save.
The Panthers were given a powerplay shortly after, but Tuukka Rask and the Bruins stood tall and kept the puck out. The Bruisn returned to the man advantage for the 2nd time before the midway point of the 1st. The Bruins continued to move the puck and generate good chances in tight around Roberto Luongo, but the former Canuck stood tall. The Panthers managed to kill off the 2nd Bruins powerplay, and the teams returned to even strength. The Bruins managed to draw blood first when Tim Schaller buried a pass from David Krejci from behind the net. The 1st expired and the Bruins took the 1-0 lead to the room.
THE 2ND PERIOD WAS AN IMPORTANT ONE FOR BOSTON.
The Bruins were facing some offensive questions. Sure, they had the 1-0 lead, but could they extend it, and keep the pressure on? The Panthers ensured that wasn’t the case. Jaromir Jagr was left all alone after a scramble in the Bruins defensive zone, and he wristed the puck past Tuukka for the equalizer.
The Panthers kept the offensive pressure and victimized the Krug-McQuaid pairing. The Krug-McQuaid pairing were on the ice for the Panthers goal and a Bruins penalty. The Bruins managed to kill off the penalty and returned to even strength. The Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak line then went back to work where Brad Marchand found David Pastrnak all alone in front where the Czech winger buried the puck for a 2-1 Bruins lead. It was the definition of hard work by the entire line with Bergeron Marchand and Pastrnak all connecting. The 2nd expired, and the Bruins overcame a few rough moments and went to the room with a 2-1 lead.
THE BRUINS RETURNED TO THE ICE IN THE 3RD WITH A POWERPLAY AND A LEAD.
Unfortunately, they were unable to convert on the powerplay and extend the lead. The two teams exchanged chances, but neither were able to get anything of high quality or of note. 7:53 into the 3rd, the Bruins turned the puck over while looking to break the puck out for transition. Reilly Smith backhanded a soft pass into Sasha Barkov’s wheelhouse and he ripped a shot over the glove of Rask, tying the game at 2.
It was the same song and dance – inability to score and extend the lead. Tim Schaller was assessed a two minute minor for tripping after his stick got caught in a Panther player’s skates. The Bruins stayed strong and Brandon Carlo had a couple fantastic clears for the Bruins and they killed off the penalty. The Bruins went ahead yet again after Ryan Spooner found David Backes all alone and the Minnesota native tipped a puck beautifully behind Roberto Luongo.
Back in the drivers seat, the Bruins needed to find a way to keep Florida from scoring again. The Panthers continued to press for the equalizer and with Luongo sprinting to the bench Demers found a lively bounce and buried the puck short side on Rask to tie the game up at 3. The Bruins inability to seal the deal in regulation gives the Panthers at least one point in the contest. After a back and forth regulation, the two teams headed to overtime.
3 ON 3 OVERTIME – IT’S BETTER THAN 5 ON 5.
The Bruins had a great opportunity to finish it early when Barkov broke his stick, so it was essentially a 3 on 2. The Panthers didn’t escape though. David Pastrnak absolutely had a highlight reel goal as he weaved between Matheson and Luongo and buried it for the OT winner.
The Bruins are back in action on Wednesday night as they’re in Washington to take on the Capitals. Coverage is on NBC and puckdrop is at 8:00 PM ET.