There are many frustrating losses throughout an NHL season, but few are worse than the one the Boston Bruins suffered to the Florida Panthers on Saturday.
Despite out-shooting their opponents 31-23 and dominating in zone time, the Bruins were unable to solve Roberto Luongo, eventually falling 4-1 at TD Garden.
Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask had a tough afternoon, allowing three goals on 22 shots faced. A shorthanded goal he allowed in the second period with the Bruins trailing 2-1 was particularly disappointing. Luongo, on the other hand, stopped 30 of 31 shots.
Noel Acciari scored the only goal for Boston, his sixth tally of the season.
The loss leaves the door open for the Toronto Maple Leafs, who play the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night, to chip into Boston’s division lead. Toronto trails Boston by six points for second place in the Atlantic Division.
The Bruins dropped to 47-22-9 with the loss, while the Panthers improved to 35-32-12 with the win.
Here’s how it all went down:
The Bruins dominated the Panthers in the first period, out-shooting Florida 16-8. But the scoreboard told a different story, as the visitor’s entered the first intermission with a 2-0 lead.
Riley Sheahan got the Panthers on the board first, with Evgenii Dadonov extending the lead less than two minutes later.
MORE FRUSTRATION FOR BOSTON
It was more of the same for the Bruins in the second period, and the results were even more perplexing.
Acciari got Boston on the board with 6:48 left in the frame, showcasing his trademark hustle before tipping the puck past Luongo. Torey Krug and Joakim Nordstrom assisted on Acciari’s sixth goal of the season.
The play was impressive all-around, as Krug wheeled behind the net before corralling the loose puck and feeding in front for Acciari, who did the rest.
The Bruins looked primed to tie the game minutes later when Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau got whistled for interference on Acciari. But it mattered not, as Troy Brouwer scored a shorthanded goal to give the Panthers a 3-1 lead.
It was the 14th shorthanded goal of the season allowed by Boston, tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins for most in the league.
Rask would be the first to tell you that’s a save he needs to make.
The Bruins got another power-play opportunity in the final few minutes, but came up empty. Boston out-shot Florida 8-6 in the perio, and entered the locker with an eight-minute advantage in zone time through two stanzas.
FLORIDA COASTS TO VICTORY
This just wasn’t the Bruins’ day.
Boston played well and with energy in the third period, but was unable to capitalize on multiple scoring chances. Bruce Cassidy pulled Rask with just under three minutes to go, but Dadonov potted the empty-netter moments later at the 17:31 mark.
Florida out-shot Boston 9-7 in the period.