Bryan Allen’s third period goal gave the Florida Panthers life, but a stellar Tim Thomas made sure that they never got any closer, and the Boston Bruins held on for a 2-1 victory Wednesday night, in Boston.
Allen blasted a long rebound top shelf, midway through the third period to cut the deficit to one goal. The rebound came off of a bad angle shot from Radek Dvorak, as he streaked up the right wing side. Thomas made the save, but was unable to reset himself in time to stop the drive from Allen.
However, that was the lone bright spot for the Panthers, as Boston took advantage of a Florida team who sleep walked through the first two periods. The Panthers rarely controlled the puck for the first 40 minutes of the contest, as the Bruins jumped in front early on a Brad Marchand goal.
Marchand took a pass from Patrice Bergeron, and out waited Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun, wrapping around the net before scoring on the fallen Vokoun. The play went to review, but Vokoun’s save attempt was behind the goal line, and the goal stood up.
Early in the second period, Milan Lucic added a second goal to the Boston lead, when David Krejci won a faceoff cleanly back to Lucic, who blasted a shot past Vokoun.
That’s all the help Thomas would need, as he made 34 saves on 35 shots for his conference leading 24th victory.
The loss, coupled with wins by Atlanta and Carolina, puts the Panthers in tough shape heading into the All-Star break. Florida is now eight points behind Atlanta with three games in hand, but more importantly, seven points behind Carolina with just one game in hand.
The Panthers will resume play next Tuesday, in Toronto with a matchup against the Maple Leafs.