Bruins-Panthers Live: Reilly Smith’s Goal in Final Minute Propels B’s to 3-2 Win Over Florida

David KrejciFinal, Bruins 3-2: That’s it, and that’s all. The Bruins hold on in the final minute, and Boston gets out of Sunrise with the win.

Third period, 19:01, Bruins 3-2: The Bruins with a little it of puck luck.

Reilly Smith scored a backhander through Tim Thomas’ legs, and the B’s take the 3-2 lead.

Third period, 18:43, 2-2: The Bruins just had a couple of chances to take  the lead, but more of the same from Tim Thomas.

First it was a save on Johnny Boychuk that Thomas couldn’t handle with the glove. The rebound fell right to Reilly Smith, but he couldn’t quite lift the puck over Thomas’ pad, as the goalie took away the angle.

Third period, 18:02, 2-2: We’re under two minutes to play in Florida.

For those keeping score at home, Tim Thomas now has 32 saves. He’s actually been really good so far, especially in the last two periods.

Third period, 14:00, 2-2: The Bruins haven’t been good at all since the first period, and the Panthers are now making them pay.

The Chris Kelly line got caught standing around after losing a defensive zone faceoff, and Zdeno Chara couldn’t control a loose puck, and we now have a tie game.

Jesse Winchester just outworked the Bruins in front of the Boston net, and he was eventually able to jam home the rebound to tie the game.

It’s gotten ugly for the Bruins.

Third period, 11:18, Bruins 2-1: The four-minute power play came and went for the Bruins who had nothing to show for it.

The B’s had a couple of scoring chances, but they weren’t able to cash in. The best chance came when the breakout was started by Torey Krug who pushed it up the ice before finding Milan Lucic who had a head of steam. Lucic quickly passed it to Jarome Iginla, and the veteran forward got through the defense and went backhand to forehand, but Tim Thomas made the save. The goals are going to come at some point for Iginla, but he just can’t buy one right now.

The Panthers came close to scoring a shorthanded goal at the end of the Boston power play. Shawn Matthias just whipped a puck on net that hit Matt Bartkowski’s skate and went right on goal. However, Tuukka Rask got the blocker up just in time.

Third period, 6:24, Bruins 2-1: Thanks in large part to some good cycling in the offensive end, the Bruins are going to get their second power play of the game.

Dmitry Kulikov was called for high-sticking David Krejci in front of the Boston net. It’s a double-minor, which give the B’s a big chance for an insurance goal. Boston scoredon its first power play of the game.

Third period, 2:00, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins were able to kill off the penalty, but they came close to coughing up the lead shortly thereafter.

The Panthers pinched down and put pressure on the Bruins in their own zone. A scramble in front of the net led to a couple of opportunities, but the Panthers couldn’t capitalize.

Third period, 0:01, Bruins 2-1: The third period is underway with the Bruins having to still kill off about a half-minute of the Panthers power play.

End second period, Bruins 2-1: We’re through 40 minutes in Florida, and the Bruins are leading 2-1.

SEcond period, 18:24, Bruins 2-1: The Panthers are now getting their chance to go on the power play.

Reilly Smith was just called for tripping (in the offensive zone, no less), and Florida gets its first power play of the game.

Second period, 15:30, Bruins 2-1: At some point, the Bruins are going to take advantage of some sloppy rebound control from Tim Thomas.

The Patrice Bergeron line just had a couple of golden chances, the first from Loui Eriksson and the second from Bergeron, but the Panthers were able to clear the rebounds before it hurt them. Thomas made the initial saves, but he allowed some big rebounds that more often than not come back to hurt a goalie.

That’s something to keep an eye on.

Second period, 12:32, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins have been the much better team so far, but the Panthers are still very much in it.

With an extra skater on for a delayed Bruins’ penalty, the Panthers just cut the lead in half. Kris Versteeg picked a corner with a beautiful shot up over the goalie’s glove.

The Bruins certainly did a lot of standing around there that made it easy for Versteeg to get into the middle of the Boston defense, and he burned them.

Second period, 10:23, Bruins 2-0: Finally, we get a TV timeout. The NHL doesn’t go to commercial after an icing call, and naturally, we just had three icing calls after the designated time for a timeout.

Anyway, the Bruins continue to possess the puck and put pressure on. They’re best chance of the period may have come on a Johnny Boychuk slap shot from the right point that Tim Thomas — playing his trademark aggressive style — cut down the angle and made the save.

The Bruins are outshooting the Panthers 20-13 so far, but it’s 5-5 here in the second.

Second period, 8:18, Bruins 2-0: There haven’t been many stoppages of play at all to begin the second period.

There has been plenty of back-and-forth play between these two teams. While the Bruins’ offense has been solid all night, their defense has been a little iffy at times.

That might have something to do with the fact that they’re using three new defensive pairs for this one.

Second period, 0:01, Bruins 2-0: The second period begins with the Bruins leading 2-0.

First period reaction: You’d be hard-pressed to find a better first period if you’re the Bruins, especially the issues they have had in terms of scoring goals lately.

Boston had scored 12 goals through its first five games, and the two first-period tallies here should serve as a reminder that droughts don’t last forever. It also doesn’t hurt to play a team like Florida. The Panthers apparently don’t place a ton of importance on the whole playing defense. The Bruins got just about whatever they wanted in the first period, as they peppered Tim Thomas with 15 first-period shots on goal.

Speaking of Thomas, he was fine in the first period. Does he usually make a save on the first goal from Daniel Paille that got up over his blocker-side shoulder? Yeah, probably. But there wasn’t much of a chance for Thomas on the Bruins’ second goal of the period. Dougie Hamilton’s power-play blast was hammered, and with Zdeno Chara standing in front of the net, Thomas was kind of up against it from the time the puck got to Hamilton.

At the other end, Tuukka Rask has looked very sharp. He came up with a big save on Tomas Fleischmann at the 16:40 mark of the first period, and then the Bruins goalie made a big kick save on Florida phenom Jonathan Huberdeau about seven minutes later. The Panthers put eight shots on goal, and Rask stopped all of them.

The Bruins have received some impressive showings from just about everyone so far. The third line, however, looks a little lost right now. Perhaps coincidentally, that’s where Brad Marchand is skating tonight. Bruins president Cam Neely said on the radio earlier in the day that he thought Marchand was trying to do a little too much. He had at least one neutral zone turnover in the first period that didn’t end up costing the B’s.

End first period, Bruins 1-0: That’s the end of the first period, with the Bruins enjoying a comfortable two-goal lead through the first 20 minutes.

Boston outshot the Panthers 15-8 in the first period.

First period, 18:00, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins are buzzing right now, and they’re taking advantage of a bad Panthers defensive system.

The Bruins already have 13 shots on goal.

First period, 12:47, Bruins 2-0: The Bruins’ power play looks to have just broken out a bit with a power-play goal.

Dougie Hamilton, who was on the ice for Torey Krug on the first unit, blasted a shot from the point that found its way by Tim Thomas. That was thanks in large part to Zdeno Chara. The enormous Boston defenseman was camped out in front of Thomas, and his screen was more then enough.

It was quite the shot from Hamilton, about a foot off the ice, that beat Thomas to his left.

First period, 11:16, Bruins 1-0: Shawn Matthias was just called for hooking, and the Bruins get the first power play of the evening.

First period, 10:49, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins look fantastic so far, and it’s thanks in large part to a pretty aggressive forecheck.

The fourth line, which accounted for the first goal, has been flying all over the ice in the first period and they’re generating chances. They’re not alone. Patrice Bergeron’s line just had a good shift, which included a nifty move by Reilly Smith to get the shot on goal, but Tim Thomas just got a piece of it with his glove.

At the other end, Tuukka Rask has been real good so far. He just made a gorgeous kick save against Jonathan Huberdeau to preserve the one-goal lead.

First period, 3:45, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins strike first against their old teammate.

Dennis Seidenberg did a great job of breaking the puck out of his own zone, as he sprinted it up ice after a defensive zone faceoff. Seidenberg rushed the puck up the ice, and he then passed it ahead to Daniel Paille who used his speed to get behind the defense.

Paille then beat Tim Thomas with a shot up over the goalie’s glove, and the Bruins take the 1-0 lead.

First period, 0:01, 0-0: And we’re off. The game is udnerway.

7:30 p.m.: It’s official. Adam McQuaid will be the healthy scratch in this one, meaning Dougie Hamilton, Matt Bartkowski and Torey Krug will all be in the lineup.

7:10 p.m.: The two teams have taken the ice in Florida, and it looks like the Bruins might be shaking things up again on the blue line, except maybe not where you might have expected.

It appears that both Dougie Hamilton and Matt Bartkowski are in the lineup, as is Torey Krug. The odd man out, according to pregame rushes? It looks like Adam McQuaid. Of course, Bartkowski looked like he was going to be sat down on Monday, and he ended up playing while Hamilton was the healthy scratch.

It also appears that Brad Marchand is staying on the third line, and Reilly Smith is up with the second line.

Here are the lines and D-pairs per pregame skate.

Milan Lucic — David Krejci — Jarome Iginla
Reilly Smith — Patrice Bergeron — Loui Eriksson
Brad Marchand — Chris Kelly — Jordan Caron
Daniel Paille — Gregory Campbell — Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara — Dougie Hamilton
Dennis Seidenberg — Matt Bartkowski
Torey Krug — Johnny Boychuk

Tuukka Rask will start for the Bruins, and of course, Tim Thomas gets the nod for Florida.

2 p.m.: It’s going to be a strange sight for the Bruins on Thursday night, as they’re set to take on a former teammate, a player who is largely responsible for one big shiny piece of jewelry they now have.

Thursday night in Sunrise, Fla., will not be a chance for the B’s to take thank Tim Thomas for anything, though.

The B’s will get their first look at the man who backboned their 2011 Stanley Cup run, as Boston is in Florida to take on the Panthers. It’s the first time the former Conn Smythe and Vezina Trophy winner will take on his former team. It’s the first time Thomas will take on the Bruins since abruptly taking a year off last season, an action that lead to an unceremonious end with the Black and Gold for the veteran goalie.

“All those years shooting on him in practice, I think it’ll be fun to finally shoot on him in a game and I’m sure he’s looking forward to it as well,” Milan Lucic told reporters. “I’m sure he’s happy to be back in the NHL playing and he’s found a new home here in Florida.”

It will also mark the Bruins’ first game against the Panthers this season and the first since the two teams became division mates. NHL realignment has the two teams sharing the Atlantic Division, which adds yet another element to Thursday’s matchup. The Bruins are trying to get back on track after dropping a Monday matinee against the Detroit Red Wings.

The Panthers have been up and down this season, and they’re hoping to avoid a three-game losing streak after dropping their last two against the Kings and Predators, respectively.

Puck drop from Florida is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

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