Monday, January 16, 2012

Game Forty Two: B's Avoid Losing Two In A Row

The Bruins took on the Florida Panthers on Monday night for their second game of a four-game road trip. This was also the first of six games that the B's will play in a nine night span.

The Panthers have been struggling recently, surrendering their once commanding lead over the Southeast Division. They now only own a one point lead over the surging Washington Capitals.

As for Boston, they skated without Rich Peverley in this game due to a personal issue. As a result, Chris Kelly was paired up with Jordan Caron and Zach Hamill. It was good to see young players like Caron and Hamill get an opportunity to skate with a veteran like Kelly even though B's head coach Claude Julien mixed up the lines a little bit as the game went on.

The Bruins really came out strong in the opening period as they established their presence in all three zones of the ice. Even though Boston only got six shots on Panthers goaltender Scott Clemmensen, they still controlled much of the possession. The switching of the defensive pairs contributed to it as well.

Patrice Bergeron scored his 13th goal of the season at 1:20 of the period on a great shot from the top of the zone. Benoit Pouliot and Tyler Seguin had the assists. Daniel Paille got into his second career fight with Ed Jovanovski after he hit Paille with an incidental elbow. Tuukka Rask was great in the first period, stopping all 12 shots he faced.

Florida picked up the pace and scored two goals in the second period. The first goal was scored by Jason Garrison, who shot the puck and it deflected in off of Dennis Seidenberg. Shawn Matthias scored the second goal when he skated out of the penalty box and beat Rask on the breakaway. Bergeron netted his second goal of the game (a five-on-three power play goal) in between the two Florida goals.

It seemed as if the B's defense broke down as the game went on. On the other hand, the forwards put heavy pressure on the Panthers defense, Seguin in particular. His speed was a problem for the Panthers all night.

In the third period, all four lines were clicking for Boston. They all played very physical and they had several chances to put the game away. Rask made some good saves down the stretch as he finished the game with 38 of them. The score was tied at two at the end of sixty minutes.

Both teams headed to a shootout after no winner was decided in the five minute overtime. Even though his 11 game point streak came to an end in this game, David Krejci had the game-winning shootout goal in the fourth round. Boston sealed the victory with a 3-2 shootout victory. They are now 5-0-1 in games that go beyond regulation this season.

The Bruins will be back on the ice Tuesday night when they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Gold Star: Patrice Bergeron (2 goals, plus-1 rating, 6 shots on goal)...Do you think he was a little upset about not being named to the All-Star game?

Black Star: Andrew Ference...He committed too much in the offensive zone, which turned into fast breakaways by the Panthers.

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