Remember the last time that the Bruins faced off against the Florida Panthers on December 8th? Boston dominated the entire game but eventually fell 2-0 after Florida put in two late goals. They needed to jump down their throats early against the Southeast Division leading Panthers on Friday night if they wanted to avoid what happened last time.
Well, no one can say that they did not do that in this game.
The Bruins jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the first 20 minutes. All four goals occurred on plays that were not on a regulation five-on-five play. Brad Marchand recorded a short-handed goal and Milan Lucic scored on the power play. Benoit Pouliot and Dennis Seidenberg scored when both teams skated four-on-four.
The goal scored by Pouliot could be one of the best goals that he has scored in his young career. He pulled off a slick front pass through his legs and slid the puck past Panthers goaltender Jose Theodore. It should be an early candidate for Goal Of The Year. Theodore was eventually pulled for Scott Clemmensen.
Shawn Thornton dropped the gloves for his usual bout with Krys Barch. The fight sparked the Bruins to score two of their first period goals in a 31 second span.
Gregory Campbell and Patrice Bergeron each added a goal in the second period. Bergeron's goal was a power play goal and it was the second power play goal of the game for the B's. He also finished the game with two assists. Marchand added two more goals in the third period to complete his first career hat trick.
The speed of the game was very fast. The puck was constantly moving and the hits occurred often. The familiarity of these two teams seemed to be evident because the Bruins had control of the game from the opening face-off. The Panthers could not even get the puck into the B's zone when they had power play opportunities.
Tuukka Rask stopped all 30 shots en route to his 10th career shutout. Boston takes this game by a final score of 8-0.
The Bruins head on their Christmas break by posting a record of 22-1 in their last 23 games. They will resume their season on the 28th of December when they travel to Phoenix to take on the Coyotes.
Gold Star: Brad Marchand (3 goals, 2 assists, plus-five rating).
Black Star: Daniel Paille...The Bruins only had to kill off two penalties in this game, thus limiting the ice time of Paille.