The Boston Bruins lost their ninth shootout of the season in a 2-1 defeat to the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.
Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask played very well and made 24 saves, but he received very little offensive support. The Bruins have scored a total of 10 goals in their last six games with a 2-2-2 record in that span.
The B’s complete their weekend back-to-back and three-game road trip Sunday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Here are three takeaways from Bruins-Panthers:
1. Senators Gain Ground In Playoff Race
Ottawa continued its remarkable run (9-1-0 in the last 10 games) with a 5-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs to earn two points Saturday night. That win, coupled with Boston’s shootout loss, puts the Senators within a single point of the Bruins for the second wild-card playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Senators also have a game in hand on the Bruins.
Here’s a recap of the three teams chasing the final wild card berth. The first tiebreaker is ROW (regulation and overtime wins).
Bruins: 84 points, 72 games, 33 ROW
Senators: 83 points, 71 games, 31 ROW
Panthers: 80 points, 72 games, 25 ROW
2. Reilly Smith A Healthy Scratch, Brin Ferlin Enters Lineup
Bruins right winger Reilly Smith was a healthy scratch Saturday amidst an 11-game goalless drought. Smith also has a six-game scoreless streak and just two goals in his last 20 games. Two of his defensive mistakes led to goals against in Thursday’s loss to the Ottawa Senators.
Daniel Paille started the game in Smith’s spot at first-line right wing alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. Brian Ferlin entered the lineup for the first time since March 5. He took Paille’s spot on the fourth line alongside Gregory Campbell and Max Talbot.
Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton left the ice in the second period and didn’t return. There is no update on his condition at this time.
3. Patrice Bergeron Becomes First Bruin To Tally 50 Points This Season
Bergeron tied the score 1-1 with a second-period goal on the power play. Bergeron has now reached the 20-goal mark for the sixth time in his NHL career and he’s the first Bruins player to hit 50 points (20 goals, 30 assists) this season.
Ryan Spooner tallied the primary assist on Bergeron’s goal, giving him 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in 14 games since being recalled on Feb. 21.
Thumbnail photo via Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports Images