The Bruins have now gone 20-2-1 since the start of November and are back atop the Eastern Conference with a 23-9-1 record and 47 points.
They'll get three days off completely to enjoy Christmas, then get back to work on Tuesday when the travel to Phoenix, where they will open a three-game road trip on Wednesday.
Third Period, 17:46, Bruins 8-0: Tyler Seguin tries to get into the scoring act, but is robbed in front by Clemmensen. Guess not quite everything will go in tonight.
Third Period, 14:52, Bruins 8-0: Tuukka Rask has quietly been busy trying to protect his clean sheet in this one. Panthers now up to 30 shots, but still haven't gotten any past Rask.
Third Period, 10:53, Bruins 8-0: Brad Marchand completes the hat trick as he tallies his third of the night.
The hats come raining down as the Bruins continue to pour it on the Panthers.
Third Period, 7:25, Bruins 7-0: The intensity has dropped dramatically in this one, as both teams look like they just want to finish this one healthy and get to the Christmas break.
Third Period, 1:53, Bruins 7-0: The Bruins add another goal, once again with a helping hand, or at least skate, from the Panthers.
Brad Marchand gets the goal when his pass from the right circle goes off Keaton Ellerby's skate in front and deflects in.
Third Period, 0:00, Bruins 6-0: The final frame is under way with the Bruins looking to close this one out and head into the holidays on a high note.
Second Intermission Notes: It was more of the same for the Bruins in the second, as Boston didn't allow Florida any openings to get back in the game and extended the lead to 6-0 with two more goals.
The Bruins' depth and balance is on full display with six different goal scorers and 12 players with points already.
Not much to complain about in this one. Bruins just need to close out the final 20 minutes and move on to celebrating the holidays.
End Second Period, Bruins 6-0: The middle frame comes to a close with Garden fans chanting "Merry Christmas" after the Bruins add two more goals to extend their lead to 6-0 through 40 minutes.
Second Period, 15:50, Bruins 6-0: The Bruins make this power play count as Patrice Bergeron scores to make it a 6-0 game.
Bergeron drove in from the right side and tried to get it to Nathan Horton in front. The pass deflected off the skate of Florida defenseman Ed Jovanovski and in, giving the goal to Bergeron.
Second Period, 15:14, Bruins 5-0: The Bruins go right back on the power play as a strong shift by the fourth line creates several chances and draws another penalty call, this one on Erik Gudbranson, who goes off for cross-checking.
Second Period, 14:11, Bruins 5-0: The Bruins can't convert on that power play as the sides are back at even strength.
Second Period, 12:11, Bruins 5-0: The Bruins are back on the power play again as Kulikov heads back to the box, this time for high-sticking Zach Hamill.
Second Period, 10:17, Bruins 5-0: The Panthers have finally been putting some pressure on the Bruins, but Rask has been up to the Rask with a couple solid stops. The Bruins' lead in that category is down to 20-15, but the 5-0 lead on the scoreboard remains unchanged.
Second Period, 6:37, Bruins 5-0: The Panthers finally reach double digits in shots as Kris Versteeg fires in a harmless bid from the right circle that rask smothers for Florida's 10th shot of the game. The Bruins have five goals on 19 shots so far.
Second Period, 3:50, Bruins 5-0: The Bruins add another, as Gregory Campbell burns his old club with a wrister from the high slot.
The play came off a turnover in the defensive zone, with Boston quickly transitioning for the chance.
Second Period, 2:43, Bruins 4-0: The Bruins can't convert that chance, but Tyler Seguin came close twice, first just missing on a bullet from the slot, then getting robbed on a bid in front.
Second Period, 0:43, Bruins 4-0: The Bruins have another power-play chance as Dmitry Kulikov is sent off for hooking.
Second Period, 0:00, Bruins 4-0: The middle frame is under way, and the Panthers have replaced Theodore with Scott Clemmensen in goal to start this period.
First Intermission Notes: The Bruins lead the NHL with 81 5-on-5 goals this season, but they opened a 4-0 lead in the first period without scoring in a 5-on-5 situation.
A shorthanded goal by Brad Marchand and a power-play tally by Milan Lucic got things going early, and Benoit Pouliot and Dennis Seidenberg each scored while 4 on 4 late in the period.
Pouliot's goal was the highlight of the opening frame, as he went coast to coast and scored while going down to his knees in a spectacular display. Pouliot's improved play has been one of the keys to this latest run of success by the Bruins.
Tuukka Rask made a couple big saves early, but didn't see a lot of work as the Panthers have barely more shots (6) than the Bruins have goals (4). Boston has 14 shots so far.
End First Period, Bruins 4-0: The Bruins close out a dominating opening frame with a 4-0 lead after two late goals break this one open.
First Period, 19:02, Bruins 4-0: The Bruins score again while 4 on 4, this time with Dennis Seidenberg blasting in a shot from the left point.
Joe Corvo sent the pass over from the right point while Brad Marchand provided the screen in front of Theodore.
First Period, 18:31, Bruins 3-0: The Bruins add another, this time with Benoit Pouliot scoring with the sides playing 4 on 4.
Chris Kelly won the faceoff in his own zone and sent Pouliot off to the races down the left wing. He cut to the middle and scored a highlight-reel goal as he went down to his knees before shooting.
First Period, 18:23, Bruins 2-0: The Bruins even that one as Bergeron is called for tripping.
First Period, 17:43, Bruins 2-0: The Bruins get another power play as Kris Versteeg is sent off for cross-checking after Marchand stirred things up in the corner.
First Period, 17:28, Bruins 2-0: The Bruins come within inches of extending the lead further as Greg Campbell hits the crossbar from in front. The play is reviewed, but replays show it hit the bar and did not cross the line after hitting Theodore and nearly dribbling back over the line.
First Period, 13:42, Bruins 2-0: The gloves come off following the faceoff after the goal as Shawn Thornton and Krys Barch meet once again at center ice.
Thornton starts strong and lands a few, but loses his balance and the linesmen jump in to end this one early.
First Period, 13:40, Bruins 2-0: The Bruins convert on the power play as Milan Lucic bangs home a rebound from the top of the crease.
Bergeron shot it wide from the point and Lucic collected the puck off the end boards for the goal in front.
First Period, 12:51, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins get their first power-play chance of the night as Ed Jovanovski goes to the box for roughing after taking a swipe at Chris Kelly in the corner.
First Period, 11:10, Bruins 1-0: Excellent shift from the Bruins' fourth line, with Thornton, Paille and Campbell working hard to create chances down low and keeping the Panthers hemmed in their own zone.
Boston needs to use its depth and roll all four lines to wear down a Florida club hit hard by injuries and coming off a game Thursday night in Ottawa.
First Period, 7:42, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins kill off the rest of the Campbell penalty, with Boston creating more offensive chances than the Panthers despite being down a man.
First Period, 5:56, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins strike shorthanded, with Brad Marchand opening the scoring.
Patrice Bergeron got the puck down low and Marchand brought it out from behind the net and fired it home from the slot.
First Period, 5:42, 0-0: The Panthers get the first power play of the night as Gregory Campbell goes off for high-stick Brian Campbell.
First Period, 4:17, 0-0: Rask is tested for the first time as Tim kennedy gets a chance from the left circle, but the Bruins netminder turns the bid aside. The Bruins have controlled possession early, but have just one shot on goal so far.
First Period, 0:00, 0-0: And we're under way at the Garden, where the Bruins are looking to win their sixth straight and enter the holiday break on a high note against the last team to beat Boston.
7 p.m.: Back from his one-game suspension, Milan Lucic is in the starting lineup for the Bruins with linemates David Krejci and Nathan Horton. Dennis Seidenberg and Joe Corvo start on defense, with Tuukka Rask in goal.
The Panthers counter with Tomas Kopecky, Mike Santorelli and Matt Bradley up front, Mike Weaver and Dmitry Kulikov on the blue line and Jose Theodore in net.
6:55 p.m.: The Bruins have officially scratched Rich Peverley (undisclosed injury), Steven Kampfer and Jordan Caron.
No healthy scratches for Florida, which has seven injured forwards currently. The Panthers are dressing seven defensemen for this one with only 11 healthy forwards available.
6:45 p.m.: Zach Hamill skated in Rich Peverley's spot on the right wing with Chris Kelly and Benoit Pouliot, while the other line combinations remained unchanged in the Bruins warm-up.
Jordan Caron and Steven Kampfer skated as well, but were not in the line rushes and will be the scratches again for this one along with Peverley, who is sidelined with an undisclosed injury.
The full line combinations from warm-ups:
6:30 p.m.: It will be Tuukka Time at the Garden before Christmas time. Tuukka Rask leads the club on to the ice for warm-ups and will get the start in this one.
Jose Theodore will oppose him in the Florida net.
6 p.m.: The Bruins will close out their pre-holiday slate with a matchup against the Panthers set to start in just about an hour.
The Bruins will be without forward Rich Peverley, who will get the night off to continue to rest a nagging undisclosed injury that kept him out of practice this week.
The Panthers are in even worse shape injury-wise, with seven forwards all sidelined. That includes top-line center Stephen Weiss, who suffered an upper-body injury Thursday in Ottawa. Florida is expected to dress seven defensemen, as they have just 11 healthy forwards available.
8 a.m. ET: The Bruins and Panthers meet for the second time this month on Friday, and Boston will be looking for a little payback after Florida prevailed 2-0 in that first meeting at the Garden back on Dec. 8.
Both teams remain atop their respective divisions, but they have gone in different directions since that last clash. Florida still leads the southeast at 18-10-7 (43 points), but is just 2-2-3 since beating Boston, losing 4-3 in overtime in Ottawa on Thursday. The Bruins, meanwhile, have rattled off five straight wins since that loss, outscoring their opponents 22-7 in that span to maintain control of the Northeast at 22-9-1 (45 points).
Of course, things were going pretty good for the Bruins before falling to Florida, too. That defeat was one of just two regulation losses the Bruins have suffered since the start of November, with Boston going 19-2-1 over that stretch. The Panthers barely won that game in regulation, with Tomas Kopecky breaking a scoreless tie with just 2:32 left and former Bruins prospect Kris Versteeg adding an empty-netter.
The Bruins may be without forward Rich Peverley, who missed practice Wednesday and Thursday and could be held out of the game to further rest an undisclosed nagging injury through the Christmas break. Boston won't get any sympathy from the Panthers, who are without forwards Marcel Goc, Scottie Upshall, Jack Skille, Sean Bergenheim, Mikael Samuelsson and former Bruin Marco Sturm, all out with a variety of injuries.
The puck drops at 7 p.m., so check back here for updates on all the action from the Garden.
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