NHL Game Summary - Florida at Boston
(Thursday, November 3rd)
Final Score: Boston 4, Florida 1
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Glen Murray tallied his eighth goal of the season as the Boston Bruins defeated the Florida Panthers, 4-1, at the TD Banknorth Garden.
Brad Boyes, Jiri Slegr and Travis Green added goals for the Bruins, who have now collected a point in seven consecutive games.
Hannu Toivonen was solid, stopping 29 shots, including 14 in the final period as the Panthers aggressively attempted to make a comeback.
Joel Kwiatkowski scored his first goal of the season in the loss for the Panthers, who played in the fifth of a six-game road trip. Roberto Luongo saved 29 shots for Florida, which failed on seven power-play opportunities.
The Bruins converted one power-play chance, Slegr's third-period goal that put the game out of reach.
Boston outshot Florida, 33-30, on the night, including a 27-15 edge through two periods.
After a fairly quiet first eight minutes, the Bruins got on the board first, thanks to some excellent defense and passing. Shawn McEachern telegraphed a clearing pass behind the net by Luongo and intercepted it by the boards.
He then flicked the puck in front of the net to a cutting Boyes, who slapped it top shelf from the right slot past a sprawling Luongo for a 1-0 lead at the 7:19 mark.
McEachern's second assist of the season set up Boyes fourth goal of the year.
"It felt great to get that break. But it was the hard work of all of our shifts, coming down the ice and applying pressure that set that up," said Boyes. "You could kind of see it coming the way we were bringing so much energy."
Right after killing a Florida power play, the Bruins front line went back to work.
A 3-on-2 break didn't quite develop as Joe Thornton took the puck on the left side and skated behind the net. Sergei Samsonov cut toward the net, but was surrounded by three Panther defenders. Thornton remained patient, however, and allowed a secondary cut to develop. Murray flowed toward the right face-off circle and received the pass from Thornton.
Murray's one-time slapshot, with 8:49 left in the first period, from just in front of the right face-off circle slid between Luongo's legs, as there was plenty of traffic distracting the goaltender.
The Bruins had a golden opportunity to take a 3-0 lead late in the second period, as a redirected puck left Samsonov with a shot in front of the net that was saved by Luongo, but the puck took another Bruins bounce and ended up right at the stick of Murray.
He tried stuffing it in, but the puck hit the crossbar, then his second attempt hit the glove of a diving Luongo. Finally, Thornton couldn't handle a rebound opportunity in front of the net. In total, three point-blank shots were denied by the Florida goaltender, who was practically flat on his stomach.
Luongo was busy all night, but understood that the season is still young.
"It was a tight game. They just got the best of us, that�s all. We're only 13 or 14 games in. There's no reason to have our heads down right now," Luongo said. "We have some big games coming up so we just have to get ready for those."
Boston did extend its lead on a 5-on-3 advantage early in the third period. Slegr took a pass from Samsonov and unloaded a one-timer from just inside the left circle top shelf past Luongo for a 3-0 lead just 30 seconds in.
It was Slegr's second goal of the year and Samsonov's second assist of the night, giving him 10 assists for the season.
The Panthers finally got on the scoreboard 4:39 into the third period, with Kwiatowski's slapshot off of assists from Juraj Kolnik and Niklas Hagman.
Travis Green added an empty-netter with 33 seconds left to cap the scoring.
The Bruins are now 5-1-2 when leading after two periods this season...Florida ends its road trip at Carolina on Saturday...Boston is now 3-0-4 in its last seven games...Bruins defenseman Brian Leetch strained the medial collateral ligament in his right knee during Tuesday's game versus the New York Islanders and is expected to miss one month...Earlier in the day, Boston named former great Ray Bourque a consultant to the coaching staff.
11/04 00:22:38 ET