Bruins thump lowly Panthers, 4-1

If you are struggling in the NHL this season, you have to hope that Florida is coming up soon on your calendar. The Bruins (9-5-1) received a gift from the scheduling Gods Thursday as they beat the Panthers (3-9-4), 4-1, at TD Garden. Boston came into the game having lost four of its last five but that was long forgotten as the B’s sent Florida away with a seven-game losing streak.

The main attraction of this contest was relegated to the press box as former Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas is still out with a groin injury so he had to watch backup goaltender Scott Clemmensen (a BC product) give up three goals in the third period as the B’s finally came alive after yet another slow start. The Bruins showed a highlight reel of Thomas in the third period then flashed to him live on the Jumbotron where he got a standing ovation from the crowd.

“We seemed to get better as the game went on,” noted Bruins head coach Claude Julien. “The third period was definitely our best period. As coaches, we didn’t say much during the intermission (after the 1st). Sometimes the players have to work themselves out of it on their own.”

David Krejci’s excellent season continued as he made it 1-0 in the second period with a long-distance slap shot through traffic. It was the first time in five games that Boston had scored first. Brad Marchand received an absolute gift of a goal early in the third period as the puck squirted through Clemmensen’s legs and all he had to do was knock it into the empty net.

“It’s been a while,” admitted Marchand (13 games to be exact since he scored a goal). “I missed one earlier so something was bound to go in. It’s frustrating, you want to contribute and you know you can pull your own weight.” The rout was on a few minutes later as Torey Krug finished off a pretty passing sequence from Chris Kelly and Reilly Smith.

Tuukka Rask’s (23 saves) shutout bid ended late in the third as Jesse Winchester (who viciously elbowed Kelly in the first period) deposited a rebound. Florida made up for that by handing Smith a goal as a turnover put him alone in front of Clemmensen. Boston’s reunion week ends on Saturday (7, NESN) with Phil Kessel and the Maple Leafs (10-5-0) coming back to the Garden for the first time since Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals in May.

What they’ll be saying: Between Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley returning on Tuesday with Dallas then a rematch with Toronto and Kessel on Saturday, this had the distinct feel of the undercard particularly since Thomas couldn’t play. The B’s have to be psyched that with the Panthers in the Atlantic Division now, they’ll see them three more times. Rask improved to 9-1-0 against Florida with this victory. With his goal, Krug tied Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson (who won the Norris Trophy two years ago) for most goals by a defenseman this season. Whatever scout discovered Krug at Michigan State (keep in mind he wasn’t drafted) deserves a hefty raise, Krug looks like a complete steal.

Julien will never goad his team into needless fights but it has to be said that the Bruins play better (5-2-0 this season) when they are engaged physically. Once their hitting game picked up in the second period (24-16 for the game), they began to take control.

Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat writer Richard Slate on Twitter: @RichSlate


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Local

African couple claiming misidentification in robbery case to…

At a bail hearing today for Vickson and Lorfu Korlewala, charged in the robbery of an 80-year-old woman, bail was reduced from $1 million total to $500,000.

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Music

Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…

NHL

Rangers draw first blood against Flyers in Game…

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win.

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.