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The Boston Bruins dominated a struggling Florida Panthers team with a 4-1 win during their Sunday matinee to improve to 3-1 on their current five-game road trip and finish off the Florida part of the trip. The win improves the Bruins dominant road record to 7-1-1.
Milan Lucic kicked off the scoring for the B’s, netting an early first period goal with a wrist shot off the face-off that beat Panthers goalie Jacob Markstrom. Nathan Horton set a pick off the face-off to give Lucic the time to bury the puck in the back of the net for his fourth goal of the season. Tyler Seguin helped maintain the Boston lead by making a tremendous defensive play and scooping the puck off the Bruins goal line with a curl and drag move. Moments later Zdeno Chara scored a spectacular goal (video here) after making a spin move and beating Markstrom with the backhand (all without cracking a smile) for his third goal of the year. Tomas Kopecky put Florida on the board by knocking in a loose puck in a scrum in front of the net for his fifth of the year.
Chris Kelly scored his first goal of the season, on the power play, early in the first period after picking up the rebound off of Daniel Paille’s blocked shot to extended the Bruins lead to 3-1. The Bruins then did what they do best: play tough defense and force turnovers. They sat in their 1-2-2 defensive trap in the neutral zone for the remainder of the game and did not let the Panthers into the zone easily. Daniel Paille would add an empty net goal while shorthanded for his third of the year.
Tuukka Rask made 34 saves and played great in between the pipes to improve to 9-1-2 on the year. The Bruins defense also blocked roughly 20 shots in front of Rask to help keep the Panthers from making a comeback. They also killed off all four Florida power plays, including a double minor on Lucic for crosschecking and roughing. The Bruins have killed off 21 straight power plays over their last six games and improve their penalty kill to 51 of 54 (94.4%) and easily remain first in the league.
The Bruins look to end their road trip with a win against the New York Islanders on Tuesday at 7:30 pm.