NHL Update: Boston Bruins beat Florida Panthers, 2-1

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WELDON GALEN

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Ice Hockey News
  • NHL Update: Boston Bruins beat Florida Panthers, 2-1

NHL Update: Boston Bruins beat Florida Panthers, 2-1

Tim Thomas turned aside 34 shots to lead Boston Bruins to a 2-1 victory over Florida Panthers, at TD Garden on Wednesday night.

“Five years ago, it was a pipe dream that I’d ever be in an NHL All-Star game,” said Thomas, who will make his third All-Star appearance. “I understand it’s hard for some guys who need a break. But I, for one, am excited.”

Brad Marchand and Milan Lucic each scored a goal for Boston, which has won four of its previous six contests and heads into the All-Star break leading Montreal Canadiens by four points atop the Northeast Division. Zdeno Chara collected an assist in the win.

“It’s always good to go into one of these breaks on a high note and feeling good about yourself,” Thomas said. “You can really savor the feeling of winning a couple of days.”

Bryan Allen tallied the lone goal for Panthers, who have lost five of their previous six games and the fourth consecutive play-off against Bruins. Tomas Vokoun made 33 saves in the loss.

Marchand opened the scoring for Bruins’ 1-0 lead with 6 ½ minutes left in the first stanza. He grabbed Patrice Bergeron’s pass, circled the Panthers net (going left to right) and wrapped it around the post past Vokoun for his 13th goal of the season. Initially it was not ruled a goal, but a video review determined that Marchand's shot slid across the line.

Boston doubled its lead just two minutes into the second period.  It happened so when David Krejci won a clean face-off and Lucic fired a wrist shot from outside the circle to the top right corner for his 20th goal of the season.

Down 2-0, Florida got on the board to cut the deficit in half 2-1 at the 8:37 mark of the final session. The goal came when a rebound trickled out past the left circle and Allen deposited it into the net, spoiling Thomas’ eighth shutout bid.

In the last minutes, Florida pulled Vokoun while Dennis Wideman blasted a shot on net, but Bruins goalie saved it to preserve the win. Thomas made 15 saves in the final period.

“Thomas has had our number all year,” Florida coach Peter DeBoer said. “I can’t fault our effort or the way we played on the end of a back-and-back situation, end of a road trip. We could have had a reason to be down, but it was a good effort.”

 

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