Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Game 61: Full Sixty Minutes

If we could pinpoint a time of year during the NHL season where the drama is at its highest-excluding the Stanley Cup playoffs-it would be the trade deadline.

With one game left to play before the 3pm deal-making day on Wednesday, the Boston Bruins still have the need for another defenseman. That gaping hole on the blue line was not made evident until the loss of Dennis Seidenberg for the rest of the season. 

This need was even more significant after the news broke on Monday about Adam McQuaid potentially being shut down for the year. His nagging lower-body injury just will not cooperate. 

With that being said, the Bruins welcomed the Florida Panthers to the TD Garden on Tuesday night. Not to be overzealous, but Boston has swept the season series thus far against this team. The B's and Cats will hook up again early next week, but until that happens, we have an entertaining hockey game to discuss on this night.

Chad Johnson got the start in goal. Also, Loui Eriksson was held out of the lineup in this game in favor of Jordan Caron. The team called it a "minor issue." Mmmmmmmm.....

In the first period, the Bruins looked great. They out-shot the Panthers 14-7 and dominated the neutral-zone play. They held a 2-0 lead after the first 20 minutes on goals from David Krejci and Jarome Iginla, making Tim Thomas (FLA) lunge and sprawl out on both shots. This was the first time in four games that the B's had not surrendered the first goal. 

The second period was similar, although the Panthers certainly picked up the physicality. They started racking up shots on Johnson, but the Bruins held strong in the defensive end. After a late goal by Krejci, the Bruins carried a 3-0 lead heading into the third period. 

Although the Panthers made it interesting and notched a goal in the third, it was not enough as they could not capitalize on some of their scoring opportunities; they hit four posts. The Bruins went on to win this game by a final score of 4-1 after the B's top-line center completed the hat trick. Johnson remains unbeaten (7-0-0) on TD Garden ice this season. 

The Bruins will play their next game on Thursday night against the Washington Capitals. 

Gold Star: David Krejci...He was a magician with the puck in this game. His hat trick (three goals), seven shots on goal, and plus-three rating was just the spark the Bruins were looking from him. Solid effort. 

Black Star: Jordan Caron...Could this have been the last time we saw this guy as a member of the Black and Gold? Although he did have an assist and some hits, he took some foolish penalties. Overanxious.

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