March 15, 2012

Panthers send beleaguered B's to fourth-straight loss

By Ty Anderson

Final: Florida 6, Boston 2

Recap: As is tradition, the Boston Bruins began this one in a 2-0 hole for the fourth straight game.

Falling behind after strikes from Mikael Samuelsson and Marcel Goc, the Bruins would counter with Joe Corvo's fourth goal of the season, but it'd be the closest they'd get to a Panthers club that straight-up mopped the ice with 'em. Finishing the period with a 4-1 edge thanks to tallies from Stephen Weiss and John Madden (good for his first goal in 363 days), this one was by all means over before the third even started.

While the Bruins would get on the board again with a Brian Rolston power-play tally -- good for his first since rejoining the Bruins -- the negatives would outweigh the positives (doubly, in fact) for Boston in the final frame.

Surrendering another two goals, this time to Tomas Kopecky and Wojtek Wolski, the game would draw to a merciful close that left the B's hanging their heads once again, coming back to Boston with a woeful 0-3-0 record on a road-swing that saw them outscored 17 to 5.

Records: Boston 40-27-3, 83 points; Florida 34-23-13, 81 points

Key Play of the Game: The B's showed some life when they made a one-goal game early in the second period, but the Weiss goal would prove to be the back-breaker for a Boston club that earned their fourth straight loss.

Ty's Winners: Tough to highlight any bright spots on a night that left saw Boston throttled in just about every category, but hey, how about the 39-year-old Brian Rolston. It hasn't been an easy transition (back) to Boston for Rolston, who entered played with one assist and a minus-2 rating in nine games with the Bruins, but tonight gave the veteran winger his first multi-point effort since April 2011. 

Involved on both Boston goals, Boston's second goal was Rolston's first as a Bruin since March 20, 2004.

Ty's Losers: You have to acknowledge the gutsy efforts of Tim Thomas, appearing in a B's game for the 20th time in the last 22 games, but at some point, the Bruins are going to need to have the 37-year-old stand on his head. Surrendering six goals on just 29 shots -- a  .793 save-percentage -- Thomas' March record drops down to 3-5-0 with a putrid .842 save-percentage. Yikes.

Notes: This is the first time the Bruins have lost four straight games in regulation since Jan. 2010. Remember that month? Yeah, you don't want to.

Final Thoughts: This is a winded Boston club. Strike that, because winded doesn't do their fatigue justice. This is an exhaustion hockey team. In case their record in month of March hasn't shown that just through watching them, Boston looks flat in all three zones, and simply nothing is going right for them. Yikes. 

Next: Boston comes home for a St. Patrick's Day matinee against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Bruins have taken two of three from the Flyers this year, but are heading up against a Philly club that's dominated as of late, led by the exceptional play of goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.