March 15, 2012

Gameday Blog: Bruins vs. Panthers

By Ty Anderson

SECOND INTERMISSION

SCORE
BOS - 1
FLA - 4

SHOTS
BOS - 17
FLA - 17

It took just 38 seconds for the B's to find themselves down by two for the fourth straight game. As Marcel Goc tipped home his 10th of the campaign, the rout seemed to be on the way in Sunrise. Yet, the Bruins were calling it quits yet.

Cutting the Florida lead in half when Joe Corvo scored his fourth goal of the season (and his first goal since Feb. 4 vs. Pittsburgh), it took less than two minutes for the Bruins to relinquish the momentum they were generating.

Falling down by two (again) following an easy bank-in goal for Stephen Weiss off a monstrous Thomas rebound, good for his 17th marker of the year, the Panthers would get another gift-wrapped goal once John Madden capitalized on a Boston turnover in the defensive zone.

The tally was Madden's first point as a 'Cat, and his first goal since March 17, 2011.

This one is getting ugly, folks.

FIRST INTERMISSION

SCORE
BOS - 0
FLA - 1

SHOTS
BOS - 8
FLA - 6

For the 10th time in 12 games, the Bruins will find themselves beginning the game with a deficit, but this one is undoubtedly a bit more bothersome than the blowouts they've been vicitmized to as of late. 

As frustration mounted when a potential low-hit on Boston's Brad Marchand by Brian Campbell left the Bruins on the penalty-kill following a Marchand 'unsportsmanlike' call, a lackadaisical penalty by Florida netminder Jose Theodore killed the first of the Panthers' power-plays, sparing the Bruins from yet another early hole.

That was until a soft cross-checking call against Shawn Thornton put the Black-and-Gold back on the kill.

Leaving Sean Bergenheim to screen Thomas without any resistance from B's defensemen Dennis Seidenberg, the veteran Mikael Samuelsson snapped his 10th goal of the season home with just 2:03 to play in the first.

PREGAME NOTES

If you want to talk about two teams going in totally different directions, tonight's tilt between the Florida Panthers and slumping Boston Bruins down in Sunrise, Fla. brings you everything you need.    

For the Bruins, losers of three straight contests, establishing momentum of any sort has bordered on impossible. They've found themselves trailing by two goals at least eight minutes and 15 seconds into each of these losses, and they've been outscored by a staggering 15 to 6 margin.

Utterly pasted by Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday, surrendering six goals on just 17 shots, it will be the 37-year-old Tim Thomas that gets the nod in an effort to stop the bleeding for Boston. Entering play with seven wins against the Panthers in 17 career starts, Thomas has a 3-4-0 record in March with a disappointing .852 save-percentage. 

The Panthers, who have taken at least a point in three straight, will counter with Jose Theodore. Making his sixth straight start, the Quebec-born Theodore has posted a .935 save-percentage over that stretch, and comes into tonight with just one loss in 11 post-lockout starts against the Black-and-Gold. The good news? That one loss came in his last appearance. 

On a health note, B's alternate captain Patrice Bergeron is a game-time decision after taking yet another puck off the leg. 

Boston is 2-1-0 against Florida this year, and this is the final meeting between the two this year.