In what was another huge game for Boston, they welcomed the Florida Panthers to the TD Garden. Coming into tonight, Florida was just four points back of Boston for the 8th playoff spot.
Before the game started, the Bruins 7th player award was given to none other than David Pastrnak. Pastrnak has certainly been a bright spot on this team since being called up from Providence and has gone above and beyond, in his early NHL career.
The first period was a strong one for Boston. They were skating and creating scoring chances. Torey Krug rang the post early on, after a nice chance was created for him by David Pastrnak. The first penalty was against the Panthers, as Brandon Pirri went off for slashing. Although the Bruins did not register a shot on net, they still had their chances. David Krejci clanged one off the post on the man advantage, making that two pipes hit for the Bruins in the period.
Adam McQuaid would later pick up a penalty for interference. Tuukka Rask came up huge during the kill, making two rapid pad saves, to keep Florida off the score sheet. However, the powerplay for Florida was short lived. Patrice Bergeron made a great play to chip the puck out of the zone and was able to draw a tripping penalty against Brain Campbell.
The Bruins would capitalize on the 4-on-4 situation. Loui Eriksson was able to get behind the defense and Carl Soderberg was able redirect the puck right to him. Eriksson was then able to outlast Roberto Luongo, as he backhanded the puck into the net for his 20th goal of the season.
In what was a must win game for the Panthers, they came out in the second period and played like it.
Just 55 seconds into the period, Brandon Pirri would get the Panthers on the board, with a powerplay goal. Throughout the period, the Panthers turned up the pressure on Boston in their defensive zone. The Bruins did have some chances, but couldn't manufacture a goal.
A Ryan Spooner face-off win is usually a good thing, however that wasn't the case on the second goal allowed by Boston. Spooner won the draw back towards Matt Bartkowski, only to have the puck hop over Bartkowski's stick. As the Bruins scrambled to get back, former Bruin Brad Boyes, was able to beat Tukka Rask. A broken play all around, you can be sure that Tuukka Rask will be seeing that one in his sleep.
The Bruins needed to answer the bell coming out of that second period. They were able to get an early powerplay in the third, which helped them to get going.
Seeing as David Pastrnak won the 7th player award tonight, it's only fitting that he was able to tie the game up halfway into the third. Lucic entered the zone and was able to drop the puck back to Ryan Spooner. Spooner then shot the puck towards the net, as Pastrnak was jamming in front. Pastrnak was able to get his stick on the puck for his 11th goal of the season.
With 1:09 left, Milan Lucic was a one man rush. He gathered the puck in the neutral zone, walked over the blue line and ripped one five-hole on Roberto Luongo. His 18th goal of the season put the Bruins up for good. A great effort all around for Lucic.