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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Why Are The Panthers Still In Florida/The NHL?

It sounds like I'm being way too cynical when I say that Boston's 4-1 win over Florida tonight at TD Garden put me to sleep. Sure, it was nice to see the Bruins (18-4-3) bounce back from Tuesday's bitter 3-2 loss in Pittsburgh but the Panthers (7-15-6) don't quite get the juices flowing like the Penguins or most other NHL teams.

Boston has won 10 of its last 13 games and they haven't lost consecutive games since March 2012. Florida has lost five in a row and eight of its last nine games although much of that is due to an absurd amount of injures to key players. Remember, they did reach the playoffs last season. The Bruins also beat the Panthers 4-1 on February 24 in Sunrise, Florida so it's safe to say that they have their number thus far.

Tuukka Rask (14-2-3 made 29 saves but I honestly can't remember any that were particularly difficult. The B's scored twice in the first period to take most of the fight from the Panthers. Zdeno Chara's blast from the point (his 6th goal of the season) got Boston on the board only 3:55 into the game. David Krejci and Nathan Horton had the assists. Patrice Bergeron's line continued to rack up points as he scored thanks to a great passing sequence from Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin to him for the tap-in at 14:56. It was Bergeron's seventh goal of the season.

Rookie Dougie Hamilton should buy Rask dinner or something since he ruined what was certain to be another shutout. He fell down while Boston was shorthanded and allowed Shawn Matthias to get by and cut it to 2-1 at 3:10 of the second period. It was the first shorthanded goal allowed by the B's all season.

At least there were a few highlights for the fans that filled the Garden. Shawn Thornton scored the insurance goal, his third of the season, after throwing the puck in front then going around the net and sweeping in the rebound late in the third period. Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell had the assists. Bergeron's empty-netter gave him his first two-goal game (however fraudulent it might have been) since February 25, 2012.

Boston faces another shitbum team from the Southeast Division (the NHL's Sisters of the Poor) on Saturday (1 p.m., NESN) as the Capitals (11-14-1, 3rd in Southeast Division) come to the Garden for the first time since Game 7 of the first round of the playoffs last season. The Bruins will be motivated after blowing a 3-0 first period lead and losing 4-3 in overtime in DC on March 5.

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