NHL Game Summary - Florida at Boston
(Tuesday, February 24th)
Final Score: Boston 6, Florida 1
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Byron Bitz scored the second and third goals of his career to highlight a six-goal explosion as the Bruins leveled the Panthers, 6-1, at TD Banknorth Garden.
The rookie winger was joined in the scoring barrage by Patrice Bergeron, Mark Stuart, Aaron Ward and Michael Ryder. Marc Savard and Stephane Yelle added two assists each while Tim Thomas made 24 saves for the win.
The struggling Bruins won for just the second time in eight games with Tuesday's win kicking off a six-game homestand. The residency matches Boston's longest stand of the season and was a welcome change coming off a 1-3-1 five- game road trip.
Kamil Kreps got the lone goal for Florida, which last recorded a 2-0 victory Saturday against Boston at BankAtlantic Center for its seventh win in the last 10.
Craig Anderson got the start in place of a flu-ridden Tomas Vokoun and gave up all six goals on 39 shots. Vokoun was masterful between the pipes on Saturday, turning away all 41 shots in his sixth shutout this season and third in the previous six games.
The Panthers, who are just 13-14-3 as the guest this year, kicked off a season-high tying five-game road trip with the setback, the most lopsided loss of the season for Florida.
Bergeron's goal just 48 seconds in staked the Bruins to an early lead and Stuart's backhander from in close trickled past Anderson to make it 2-0 at 6:17.
Kreps' quick wrister from the low slot off a Nick Tarnasky drop pass allowed Florida to get one back at 13:34 of the first but Boston tallied the final four scores of the game.
Bitz scored his first of the game while camped in front of the net and deflected a Yelle shot from below the left circle for a two-goal advantage at 15:53 of the second.
Anderson proceeded to give up a long rebound off a Yelle blast from the high slot early in the third. Bitz followed the play and buried the puck in the top-right corner of the net.
A screamer off the stick of Ward from just above the right circle 5:46 into the third made it a 5-1 affair and Ryder's power-play goal at 9:31 finished things off.
Florida picked up its first win in three tries this season against the Bruins on Saturday, but Boston has still taken four of the last six meetings. The Panthers had won seven of their last nine games at the Garden entering Tuesday...The Bruins snapped a two-game slide at home and moved to 20-4-4 as the host this year.
02/24 21:46:26 ET