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Bruins De-Claw Panthers In Exciting Pre-Olympic Finale

Adam McQuaid takes down Victor Oreskovich in the 2nd period. (Getty Images / Joel Auerbach)

For a while, it looked like the 10-game losing streak Bruins might be back, but they pulled out a fourth straight win, 3-2 in a shootout. They got off to an inauspicious start, when Derek Morris was called for hooking, giving Florida a power play 10 seconds in. The Bruins managed to kill it off, but Florida still drew first blood when Nick Tarnasky put a wrist shot past Rask 10:13 in. David Krejci answered 5:41 later with a goal of his own, but the Bruins gave the lead right back when Shawn Thornton was called for holding with 1:33 left in the 1st, and Stephen Weiss flipped a shot past Rask 27 seconds later to make it 2-1 Panthers.

The action continued back and forth, and for the longest time, neither team was able to gain a meaningful edge. It didn’t help much when Dennis Wideman was hit in the face by a puck, but fortunately he was able to get up unscathed save for the shock of getting hit by a puck. With time running out on the 2nd Period, Adam McQuaid was checked in front of the Boston bench by Victor Oreskovich, and wasn’t having any of it. McQuaid promptly threw down the gauntlets and proceeded to take down his heavier opponent with some authoritative punches, riling up his teammates right in front of them.

When Stephen Weiss was called for tripping 9:44 into the final period, the Bruins had an excellent chance to tie the game on their first power play of the night. Despite several quality chances, the puck stayed out of the net, that is until Mark Recchi put it in exactly 2:00 after the penalty was called. It wasn’t technically a power play goal, but it would do. More back and forth action took the game to overtime.

The same was true in overtime, until the Bruins let out a collective groan when Blake Wheeler was called for goaltender interference with 1:04 left in overtime. Those groans quickly turned to sighs of relief when Florida’s Cory Stillman was guilty of hooking six seconds later, leaving 58 seconds of 3-on-3.

Here’s Where Things Get Interesting…

With a shootout looming, Florida elected to shoot first. Could the Bruins pull it off, when shootouts haven’t been their thing lately? Rask was in goal this time, so why not? With nothing happening going into the third round, David Booth put one past Rask, putting immense pressure on David Krejci to tie it up, which he did with some quick movements. Both goalies traded saves back and forth until the seventh round, when Kamil Kreps scored for the Panthers, and Marc Savard answered, by losing control of the puck and miraculously sliding it under Tomas Vokoun’s legs. After another Rask save, Recchi, the regulation hero, won the shootout with a quick fake-out after eight grueling rounds.

Shootout Results

Florida Panthers Boston Bruins
Round Skater Result Round Skater Result
1st Michael Frolik Save 1st Marco Sturm Miss
2nd Stephen Weiss Save 2nd Michael Ryder Save
3rd David Booth Goal 3rd David Krejci Goal
4th Cory Stillman Save 4th Zdeno Chara Save
5th Steven Reinprecht Save 5th Blake Wheeler Save
6th Shawn Matthias Save 6th Patrice Bergeron Miss
7th Kamil Kreps Goal 7th Marc Savard Goal
8th Jeff Taffe Save 8th Mark Recchi Goal

B’s Stud of the Game: David Krejci, Marc Savard, and Mark Recchi

Krejci and Savard scored with no room for error in the shootout, and Recchi finally put the Bruins ahead for the first time of the night, in addition to tying the game in the 3rd period. Without any of them, the Bruins’ winning streak would be over.

B’s Dud of the Game: Tim Thomas

Thomas has to get this slot by law now, and it did look like his style rubbed off on Rask in the 1st period and on some rounds of the shootout, particularly with the relatively easy Florida goals in the 1st. Thankfully, Rask was masterful otherwise.

JERRY!! JERRY!! Moment of the Game:

McQuaid vs Oreskovich gets it by default, but the fight is definitely worthy of the honor, especially with the beat-down McQuaid delivered.

That’s What He Said:

“We sucked it up in the 3rd and found a way to win, but certainly those first two periods weren’t pretty.” – Claude Julien on the Bruins’ performance.

Game Notes:

  • Tuukka Rask tied his season high with his sixth straight start.
  • The Bruins moved from 12th place to 7th in the East following this four-game road trip.
  • Before scoring two goals in one period against Boston, the Panthers had only scored 13 goals in 12 games.
  • The Bruins had the NHL’s best penalty kill, the Panther’s had the NHL’s worst power play, but the Panthers still managed a power play goal to go up 2-1.

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