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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bruins Destroy Tim Thomas & Panthers, 6-2 at TD Garden

Seeing them up close and personal, you realize that you had forgotten how completely terrible the Panthers are virtually every season. Bruins fans welcomed Tim Thomas (35 saves) back to TD Garden but watched him get shelled as Boston (34-15-3) rolled 6-2 over Florida (21-25-7). It was the third game in a row that the B's have scored exactly six goals. Also, they improved to 3-0 against the tomato can Panthers with two more meetings left in the regular season. Atlantic Division!

Tuukka Rask made 28 of the quietest saves in NHL history since by the second period, Boston had built up a 4-0 lead. It would have been cool to see him get a shutout vs. Thomas, but we have no reason to complain (Boston has won five of its last six and four in a row).

A night after the Bruins' second line went nuts at the Islanders, the first line nearly matched it with a combined seven points from David Krejci (1 goal, 2 assists), Jarome Iginla (2 assists) and Milan Lucic (2 goals).

Lucic scored at 7:41 of the first period to make it 1-0. His 14th of the season was assisted by Iginla and Krejci. He went into the infamous dirty area and was rewarded with a loose puck. Boston doubled its advantage with a pathetic mistake by Thomas: Zdeno Chara's nothing wrist shot from the point trickled in off Thomas who somehow dropped it. Chara's 13th goal of the season (3rd in 3 games) was assisted by Torey Krug and Krejci at 15:26.

Looch got another gift from Thomas when he couldn't smother the puck so Lucic shoveled it in at 1:46 of the second period. People in the crowd forgot that the second goal wasn't his (it was close) so a few stray hats went on the ice when they thought he got a hat trick. Nice try folks. Iginla and Matt Bartkowski had the assists.

Reilly Smith re-took the team goal-scoring lead with his 18th of the season at 14:54 that made it 4-0, from Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson on the power play. Former Bruin Brad Boyes' one-timer ensured that the Panthers at least wouldn't be shut out. Dmitry Kulikov cut it to 4-2 at 4:00 of the third period with a power play goal.

No problem, Shawn Thornton netted the prettiest goal of them all at 8:14. His fourth of the season was assisted by partner in crime Gregory Campbell. Buffalo forked over one more goal to the B's as a pitiful turnover in their own zone went right to Krejci's stick. He put it by Thomas with a quick flock of a wrist shot.

Tell your friends, the first installment of Bruins-Canadiens for this season is on Thursday (7:00, NESN and 98.5 FM) at the Garden. Montreal (28-20-5, 4th in Atlantic Division) has fallen back recently but it shouldn't take them much to get up for their bitter rival.

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