FLA
29-45-8
BOS
54-19-9

30 SOG
41 SOG

Bruins ride top line to win against Thomas, Panthers

Matt Kalman  - NHL.com Correspondent | Tuesday, 01.28.2014 / 11:14 PM

BOSTON -- The line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Reilly Smith combined for nine points in the Boston Bruins' road win against the New York Islanders on Monday night.

At home against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday, it was the line of Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Jarome Iginla that dominated.

Lucic scored two goals, Krejci had a three-point night, and the line combined for seven points. The Bruins reached six goals for the third straight game and won for the fourth time in a row, defeating the Panthers, 6-2.

Krejci had one goal and two assists, and Iginla had two assists. Tuukka Rask made 28 saves for the Bruins, who are 5-0-1 in their past six home games and in their past six games overall dating to a road win against the Dallas Stars on Jan. 16.

"You just wanted to kind of keep this good feeling going," Lucic said. "We kind of talked about turning things around starting on the road trip, the mini road trip in Dallas [and Chicago] there. And it seems like our game is definitely moving in the right direction.

"I think the biggest thing is, we can't get complacent or even bored of playing the right way. And you saw that in the second period there, where we had a lull and we kind of started to cheat and get away from what's given us success of late. But we got back to it in the third period, and we're going to need that going forward."

The loss snapped the Panthers' three-game road winning streak and ruined Tim Thomas' return to Boston.

The Bruins outshot the Panthers 29-20 through the first two periods of Thomas' first game at TD Garden since he was with Boston in 2011-12. He finished with 35 saves on 41 shots.

Despite being under contract, Thomas took last season off, and the Bruins traded his rights to the New York Islanders. The 2011 Conn Smythe Trophy winner from Boston's Stanley Cup championship signed with Florida as a free agent this offseason.

"I felt very comfortable being in this building and stuff," said Thomas, whose previous season-high for goals allowed was five. "For me, I feel comfortable. Obviously, I didn't feel as comfortable when they started getting 19 shots in the first period and a couple of goals going in, but I felt comfortable coming into the game.

"I actually felt very comfortable at the beginning of the game. And then all of a sudden the first goal kind of gets you on your heels; a turnover there and then ... kind of misplay by me on the second goal there. Knuckle puck from Zdeno [Chara] where I tried to reach around and grab it and it went off my glove. That wasn't a good sign."

The Bruins (34-15-3) scored first when Lucic snapped a four-game goal drought at 7:41 of the first period. Iginla nearly turned over the puck at the blue line, but Florida's Jonathan Huberdeau passed it back to Iginla for a shot Thomas stopped. Lucic cleaned up the rebound for a 1-0 lead.

The Bruins took a 2-0 lead at 15:26, when Chara's one-timer from the right point deflected in front then went into the net off Thomas' head. Thomas had moved a few inches out of the crease to try to challenge Lucic. Chara ran his goal streak to three games (four goals).

Lucic scored his second goal on a rebound of a Matt Bartkowski shot from the point. Lucic hacked at the rebound and it eluded Thomas at 1:46 for a 3-0 lead. Reilly Smith's power-play goal at 14:54 gave the Bruins a 4-0 cushion.

"Yeah, we score five, six goals a game, you kind of expect to win," Rask said. "I know it's not going to happen every game, but it's good to have that offense going like that. We've been scoring goals because we play our system, not because we're trying to do too much out there, and that's a great sign."

Florida (21-25-7) scored with 32.9 seconds remaining in the second period. Brad Boyes cashed in on the back end of a 3-on-3 with a one-timer from the bottom of the left circle to cut Boston's lead to 4-1.

Dmitry Kulikov's power-play goal at 4:00 of the third period trimmed it to 4-2. It also helped the Panthers' avoid a near-record power-play drought. Florida hadn't scored a power-play goal in its prior 13 games, and without Kulikov's score would've tied the 1997-98 Toronto Maple Leafs, who went 14 games without a man-advantage goal, for the longest such slump since expansion (1967-68), according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Panthers had been 0-for-41 prior to the goal.

"It gives you a little something to work with," Florida coach Peter Horachek said. "There's some success from some of the things you tried to do and some traffic. That is overshadowed by the rest of the game, it's just disappointing."

Shawn Thornton stalled the Panthers' comeback hopes with a goal at 8:14 of the third. He dangled out of the corner and roofed a backhand shot from the slot for a 5-2 Boston edge.

The Bruins continue their homestand Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens. The Panthers, two games into a four-game road trip, play the Toronto Maple Leafs.

1st2nd3rdT
FLA
BOS
Scoring Summary
1st Period
07:41BOS Milan Lucic (14) Wrist shot - ASST: Jarome Iginla (20), David Krejci (33) 1 - 0 BOS
15:26BOS Zdeno Chara (13) Wrist shot - ASST: Torey Krug (18), David Krejci (34) 2 - 0 BOS
2nd Period
01:46BOS Milan Lucic (15) Wrist shot - ASST: Jarome Iginla (21), Matt Bartkowski (9) 3 - 0 BOS
14:54BOS PPG - Reilly Smith (18) Wrist shot - ASST: Carl Soderberg (18), Loui Eriksson (11) 4 - 0 BOS
19:27FLA Brad Boyes (14) Snap shot - ASST: Nick Bjugstad (10) 4 - 1 BOS
3rd Period
04:00FLA PPG - Dmitry Kulikov (5) Wrist shot - ASST: Sean Bergenheim (6), Scott Gomez (5) 4 - 2 BOS
08:14BOS Shawn Thornton (4) Backhand shot - ASST: Gregory Campbell (9) 5 - 2 BOS
17:51BOS David Krejci (11) Snap shot - ASST: NONE 6 - 2 BOS
Three Stars of the Game
David Krejci
1st
David Krejci
C
G: 1Shots: 1
A: 2Hits: 1
PTS: 3PIM: 0
+/-: 5TOI: 16:59
Milan Lucic
2nd
Milan Lucic
LW
G: 2Shots: 3
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 4TOI: 16:26
Shawn Thornton
3rd
Shawn Thornton
LW
G: 1Shots: 4
A: 0Hits: 3
PTS: 1PIM: 2
+/-: 1TOI: 12:03
Penalty Summary
1st Period
13:07FLA Mike Weaver  Hooking against  Daniel Paille
17:31BOS Zdeno Chara  Hooking against  Jesse Winchester
2nd Period
14:22FLA Sean Bergenheim  Hi stick - double minor against  Zdeno Chara
3rd Period
02:35BOS Shawn Thornton  Hi-sticking against  Dmitry Kulikov
13:18FLA Dmitry Kulikov  Tripping against  Carl Soderberg
19:56FLA Tim Thomas  Hi-sticking against  Carl Soderberg
shots by period
PeriodFLABOS
1st819
2nd1210
3rd1012
Total3041
Team Stats
CategoryFLABOS
Power Plays1/21/5
Hits2016
Faceoff Wins3438
Giveaways811
Takeaways75
Blocked Shots129
Penalty Minutes104
  • FLORIDA
  • BOSTON
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
4D. OlsenD00-12017:45
7D. KulikovD10-13222:13
11J. HuberdeauL00-23012:57
12J. HayesR00-20011:48
14T. FleischmannL00-12015:18
15D. ShoreC00-11014:21
17J. WinchesterC00-21013:37
19S. UpshallL0000013:23
20S. BergenheimL0102416:11
23S. GomezC01-12015:57
24B. BoyesR1002017:45
27N. BjugstadC0103014:11
43M. WeaverD0001220:55
51B. CampbellD00-40023:30
55E. JovanovskiD0003017:25
57M. GocC00-22016:29
77T. GilbertD00-21018:29
82T. KopeckyR00-12011:23
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
34T. Thomas3541.85459:47
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
11G. CampbellC0101013:16
12J. IginlaR0243016:13
17M. LucicL2043016:26
18R. SmithR1004015:19
20D. PailleL0001013:08
21L. ErikssonR01-15016:47
22S. ThorntonL1014212:03
23C. KellyC0003015:22
27D. HamiltonD0011020:20
33Z. CharaD1024220:37
34C. SoderbergC01-11015:08
37P. BergeronC0002015:04
43M. BartkowskiD0124021:38
46D. KrejciC1251016:59
47T. KrugD0110017:53
55J. BoychukD0021022:30
63B. MarchandL0002013:14
86K. MillerD0001014:38
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
40T. Rask2830.93360:00