The Bruins, put simply, were pretty bad Tuesday night.
Boston delivered an uninspired performance and fell to the Florida Panthers 5-0 at BB&T Center in the first contest of a two-game trip to the Sunshine State.
Four of Florida’s goals came in the second period, but it controlled the tempo of the game even before that. Mike Hoffman, Mike Matheson, Jonathan Huberdeau and Evgenii Dadonov each had tallies, with Hoffman scoring twice.
Jaroslav Halak made 39 saves for the Bruins, while Panthers netminder Roberto Luongo turned away 33 shots.
The Bruins fall to 14-9-4 with the loss, while the Panthers climb to 11-10-5.
Here’s how it all went down.
PANTHERS CONTROL, BUT CAN’T SCORE
Neither team could score in the first period, but the Panthers controlled the game. They out-chanced the Bruins 7-1 and looked far sharper on their power play opportunity, getting four shots off to Boston’s zero on the man advantage.
The Bruins’ struggles in the opener were best illustrated by Florida logging 8:46 zone time, while the B’s managed just 2:42.
There’s no kind way to describe the Bruins’ performance in the second period, so let’s just go with appalling. Boston gave up four goals in what simply was a nightmarish 20 minutes.
Hoffman potted his first goal of the night just over four minutes into the period. Huberdeau flipped a puck into the attacking zone for Colton Sceviour, with Sceviour getting behind the defense. He lost control of the puck for a moment and was unable to get a shot off before going to the net, but turned and threw the puck off the back of Halak’s leg instead. The puck settled in the crease, and neither Halak nor Torey Krug spotted it fast enough to swipe it away, as Hoffman got his stick blade on it and buried it home.
Matheson then got on the board thanks to a horrid display of defense from the Bruins.
The defenseman got the puck behind the net and skated away from a forechecking Jake DeBrusk. Ryan Donato tried to get in the way at the blue line, but was unsuccessful. Krug stepped in at Boston’s blue line, but he too couldn’t stop Matheson. With Krug out of the way, Matheson had a clear path to Halak, and the 24-year-old finished his second goal of the season.
Huberdeau then hopped in on the goal scoring.
Keith Yandle skated the puck into the attacking zone and slid it over to Huberdeau at the top of the left face-off circle. The center had a go, snapping a shot that hit Halak and slowly trickled through his legs and into the net. On a night where Halak had little help, it was the only goal he should have prevented.
Needing to just get into the intermission and regroup, the Bruins let up another goal with five seconds left in the period, again to Hoffman.
With DeBrusk in the box for slashing, Aleksander Barkov made a nice cross-ice, face-off circle-to-face-off circle pass over to Hoffman, who finished the one-timer from one knee.
PANTHERS ADD ONE MORE
The outcome of the game hardly was in doubt in the third period, but with Florida on the power play at 14:26, Dadonov put it away for good with his 13th goal of the season.
Barkov collected a rebound from Halak, skated around the net and sent a nice backhanded pass to Dadonov right on the doorstep, and the winger finished with ease.
The Bruins will remain in the Sunshine State for a tilt Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Puck drop from Amalie Arena is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images
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