NHL Game Summary - Boston at Florida
(Wednesday, December 28th)
Final Score: Florida 6, Boston 4
Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - Olli Jokinen had two goals and an assist to lead the Florida Panthers over the Boston Bruins, 6-4, at BankAtlantic Center.
Gary Roberts had a goal and two assists and Joe Nieuwendyk and Chris Gratton each added a goal and an assist for the Panthers, who snapped a small two-game losing streak. Roberto Luongo made 35 saves in the victory.
Brad Boyes had two goals and Brad Stuart added three assists for the Bruins, who have lost two of their last three games. Andrew Raycroft made 21 saves in the losing effort.
The game was tied 3-3 going into the second period, but the Panthers netted two goals in the middle stanza to take the advantage.
Nieuwendyk gave the Panthers a 4-3 lead on a wrist shot from the left circle into the left corner of the net for his fifth goal of the year at the 12:54 mark.
Florida increased its lead with a goal late in the second. Gratton flipped the puck over Raycroft during a scrum in front of the net for his fourth goal of the season with 29 seconds remaining.
Boston got to within one goal at the 9:22 mark of the last period. Brad Isbister brought the puck out front from the left boards and dumped it to Boyes down low on left side. His wraparound shot went between Luongo's five- hole to make it a 5-4 contest.
The Bruins had a late power-play opportunity, but were unable to capitalize. They pulled Raycroft with under a minute to play, however Roberts scored an empty-net goal to seal the contest.
"I thought that after the first period we came back really strong in the second period," said Panthers coach Jacques Martin. "While they out shot us I thought we had some really good chances. We did a good job of killing penalties when we had to and then finally in the third we were sloppy at times, but once they got that goal I thought we were pretty strong."
The Bruins opened up the scoring in the game. Stuart sent a pass from the right circle to Hal Gill at the left circle. He immediately flicked the puck to the right side of the net to Marco Sturm, who tapped it in just 1:13 into the contest.
However, the Panthers answered quickly to tie the game up. Jozef Stumpel fired a pass from the top of the right to Martin Gelinas in the slot. Gelinas redirected the puck into the left corner of net just 1:18 after the Boston goal.
Boston took a 2-1 lead on a power-play tally after Boyes deflected a point shot from Stuart at the 5:55 mark of the opening period.
However, Florida took a 3-2 lead with two goals by Jokinen separated by 2:19.
He got his first goal after taking a feed from Roberts in the slot, going backhand and sliding the puck between Raycroft's five-hole. He gave Florida the lead after Jay Bouwmeester took a slap from the point that Raycroft made an arm save on. However, the puck bounced off of the back boards right to Jokinen, who tapped it into the net.
"The way he's been playing lately is the kind of leadership that you look for from your captain," said Martin of Jokinen. "I think lately that line has seemed to be able to bounce back for our team after we've allowed a goal. A lot of times I'll send them out and they're able to change the momentum."
It was a short-lived lead as P.J. Axelsson opted to shoot on a two-on-one rush and beat Luongo on the glove side to make it a 3-3 game with 9:29 until the first intermission.
Boston concludes its four-game road trip on Friday at Tampa Bay...The Panthers host Montreal on Friday...Florida went 0-for-4 on the power play and is now 0- for-18 against Boston in three games this season...Jokinen has points in eight games with six goals and eight assists during that run...The Bruins went 1- for-7 with the man advantage.
12/29 00:38:37 ET