Boston squanders playoff opportunity losing to Florida 4-2
Photo Credit Joel Auerbach- Getty Images
The Boston Bruins had a chance to clinch a playoff spot against the Florida Panthers, but came up empty as Florida would play spoiler and defeat Boston 4-2. Ottawa pulled ahead of Boston by defeating the New York Rangers 3-0. Boston is now on the outside looking in with one game remaining against Tampa Bay Saturday to close out the regular season. Ottawa will play Philadelphia in their season finale, while Pittsburgh will play the New York Islanders, and Buffalo Sabres in back to back games to close out their season. Boston now needs help to have a chance to keep their playoff chances alive.
Boston played a strong first period, peppering Florida in the first two periods finding numerous scoring chances, but old foe Roberto Luongo was able to shutdown Boston for the majority of the game. Boston has now run into their season long foe not being able to score goals down this crucial stretch of the season that Boston can no longer control. Boston outshot Florida in the game 36-30. Boston looked strong early fighting for loose pucks in the corner, and then getting the scoring kicked off in the 2nd period when Patrice Bergeron made it 1-0 on PP goal 15:02 into the 2nd period. Shortly their after Florida would begin to fight back and make the game 1-1 on an Alexander Barkov PP goal with 18:40 left in the 2nd. From this point on Florida wouldn't look back and begin to play spoiler for Boston.
In the third period Boston started to look sluggish, and tired in a critical game that they needed to win. Florida began taking it to Boston early in the third. 4:02 in, Jonathan Huberdeau would tally his 14th of the season on an assist from Jagr and Campbell; Jagr tallying his second assist of the game. Former Boston Bruin would, Brad Boyes would add his 14th goal of the season with 8:03 into the third on a tip-in. Brad Marchand would make the game interesting coming down the stretch as Marchand would make the game 3-2 on a snipe coming around the Florida net, before firing the puck over Luongo's shoulder. Shortly later Dorchester native Jimmy Hayes would seal the deal for Florida with under five minutes left making it 4-2, and potentially closing the Bruins fate of making the playoffs.
Boston will now need a lot of help from Ottawa, and Pittsburgh to implode in the final weekend of the NHL season to have any shot at making the playoffs. Boston will close the regular season Saturday against Tampa Bay.