The Bruins looked to give a last minute gift to Boston’s hockey fans on Friday night when they played holiday host to the Florida Panthers. After suffering a 2-0 loss on December 8th the team came out strong looking for the win. With Tuukka Rask looking more secure and confident in net than any other game this season, it’s safe to say that the Bruins have two solid goaltending options this season.
With his first shorthanded goal of the season (13th overall), Brad Marchand got the Garden going by lighting the lamp with assists from Patrice Bergeron and Dennis Seidenberg. Not only can the team score shorthanded, but they can do it on the power play as well. Milan Lucic scored a few seconds into the Bruins first power play attempt of the game with assists from Patrice Bergeron and Nathan Horton. If the excitement of two goals wasn’t enough for the fans Shawn Thornton decided to drop the gloves with Panthers Krystofer Barch… gifts aplenty for the home town fans. Gregory Campbell scored a goal that was called back after review, but Beniot Pouliot lit the lamp shortly thereafter to give the B’s a 3-0 lead. The Bruins’ fourth goal was tallied by Dennis Seidenberg, which completed the first period scoring.
The Panthers looked for a change in play with a change of goalie to start the second period but redemption for Gregory Campbell occurred 3:50 into the second period, as he scored to make it 5-0 Bruins. With consistent effort throughout the period, the Bruins didn’t allow the Panthers a shot to claw their way back into the game; instead, they tore them down further with a goal by Patrice Bergeron to make it 6-0. Bergeron certainly earned a spot on the “nice” list heading into the holiday with two assists and a goal making it a three-point night.
The third period sung the same tune as the first two with Boston keeping up the aggressive playoff style of play and showing the Panthers what a first place team should look like. Brad Marchand stuck with a play less than two minutes into the period and scores his second goal of the night to make it 7-0 Bruins. The goal also gave Marchand his fourth point of the night; a career high that was previously set on Jan 22, 2011 against the Avalanche. Marchand continued to rack up the points (five) with another goal for a hat trick on the night. Three goals for Marchand, eight for the Bruins and a goose egg for Panthers.
Merry Christmas to all, as it was certainly a good night. The Bruins will have the holiday weekend off and resume play on Wednesday when they travel to Arizona to take on the Phoenix Coyotes and close out the year with a game in Dallas on the 31st against the Stars.