It was a tale of two periods.  The Bruins came out in the first period and jumped out to a commanding 4-1 lead.  The Bruins dominated the Panthers and took control of the game.  First period goals came from Patrice Bergeron (2), David Pastrnak, and Brett Connolly.  The Panthers then came out and dominated the Bruins in the second period to get it within one goal.  

The tide changed after Shawn Thornton challenged Adam McQuad to a fight and it seemed to give the Panthers momentum.  The Bruins who once had a comfortable 3 goal lead went into the locker room after two periods with a slim 4-3 lead.  The Panthers eventually scored the game tying goal with just 4:43 left in the third.  Then in overtime new Bruin, Lee Stempniak, scored the game winner on a 2-on-1 with Ryan Spooner.  

Tonight’s game was a heart attack waiting to happen but the Bruins pulled it out and will now play the Tampa Bay Lightning for 1st in the Atlantic Division tomorrow night.

With tonight’s win Bruins coach Claude Julien notched #388 to pass Art Ross for the most wins in Boston Bruins franchise history.  We don’t always agree on some of Claude’s decisions but there is no denying that he is one hell of a coach.

Here are BostonPucks.com’s 3 thoughts on tonight’s game:  

 1) Bruins Need To Trade Tuukka

How many times have you seen morons tweet that this year?  A million?  Tonight was the definition of what Tuukka has done all year; bail out the meltdown in front of him.  Because so many times goalies get beat four times in a game, like Louongo tonight, and they need to get yanked.  Not the case on many nights, especially tonight for Tuukka.  He was on fire.

Tuukka faced a whopping 51 shots, turning aside 47 of them (.922 sv%) with many saves coming in spectacular fashion.  In the disastrous second period he was the only thing keeping the Bruins boat afloat.  In the end he bought the Bruins enough time to grab the two points in OT and give them a 3-0-1 record since the trade deadline.

It’ll still be interesting to see who the Bruins trade Tuukka for this summer.

2) Dumpster Fire Second Period For Bruins

Honestly, what the hell was that?  I had thought for a moment that maybe we moved on from the Jekyll & Hyde style Boston Bruins hockey but I was wrong.  The Bruins had built up a real nice 4-1 first period lead only to nearly piss it away in the next 20 minutes.  As stated before, it all started when Shawn Thornton had enough of what he was seeing, got in a boring scrap with Adam McQuaid, and apparently it was enough to pump up his team. Suddenly, everything changed.

Next thing you know the Bruins are taking dumb penalties (too-many men and high sticking), Quaider isn’t available for the PK due to his fight, and it’s quickly 4-3.  It took Boston 12 minutes to get a shot on net in a period they were outshot 18-5.  The B’s then go put an exclamation point on the second with another high sticking penalty.  This time it was a double minor on David Krejci.  If it hadn’t been for Mr. Rask it would have been even uglier.  Once again he saved the day.

3) I Had a Dream
I am not making this up but last night I had a dream, and in the dream Brett Connolly scored.  I am being completely honest here.  I wish I would have told some people so everyone would not say I’m full of shit.  In my dream though Connolly came down the right side, toe dragged to get in a better shooting lane and put it glove side high.  Connolly’s actual goal tonight he came down the left side and ripped a shot low glove side.

We have said this before, but I really like the new look 4th line.  Landon Ferraro had a chance to score in the first period as well using his speed to catch up with the loose puck and blew by most of the Panthers for the scoring opportunity.  This line, with their hard work, is fun to watch.  And their scoring touch is a major upgrade from the previous fourth unit.

I am not sure if it is sad, or cool that I dream about the Bruins.  What do you guys think?

****Extras****

  • Jaromir Jagr (1,851 career points) passed Gordie Howe (1,850) for 3rd all-time in points in the NHL with an assist tonight.  Just an unreal stat.  He’ll eventually pass Mark Messier for 2nd all-time, and who knows what the hell other records he will break.
  • Patrice Bergeron now has 6 goals in his last 6 games.  NBA Jam “on fire” kind of hockey from #37 right now.
  • Noel Acciari got his first NHL point on the Brett Connolly goal.
  • Congratulations to old friend Shawn Thornton for signing a contract extension with the Florida Panthers.  One more year in the Florida sun for the guy that has done it the right way for most of his career.  He even got in a little scrap tonight with old sparring partner Adam McQuaid.  I think he gets a mulligan for the slew foot on Brooks Orpik.  If Orpik would have been a man and accepted the fight it would have been over with.
  • After a few turnovers Pastrnak found himself stapled to the fourth line and bench in the 2nd period.  I didn’t like this for a couple of reasons.  1: Acciari, Ferraro and Connolly really have something good going right now as the fourth unit, so it disrupted that.  2: You have to give the kid a chance to play.  He scored a big goal in the 1st period, and turnovers are going to be a part of the 19 year old’s game.  Eventually he was bumped back up to the Krejci line. 
  • Congrats, coach.  We love you.