Bruins Wrap: Panthers Score Four Answered Goals In 5-4 Comeback Win


BOSTON — It looked as though the Boston Bruins were going to snap their three-game losing streak Tuesday night at TD Garden, but that all changed after an ugly third period.

After exploding for four goals in the last 10 minutes of the second period, the Bruins allowed the Florida Panthers to come all the way back and tie the game with four unanswered third-period goals, pushing this one to overtime and ultimately a shootout where Florida would prevail.

Tuukka Rask pushed away 25 of the 29 shots he faced for the B’s. Sergei Bobrovsky’s rough second period landed him on the bench for the third. He stopped 19 of 23 shots before Sam Montembeault stopped all 15 third-period and overtime shots for the Panthers.

With the loss, the Bruins fell to 11-3-4, while the Panthers moved to 9-4-5.

Here’s how it all went down:

The Bruins didn’t come out of the gates flying, to put it politely. Boston recorded just three shots on net over the game’s first 11 minutes, but lucky for the hosts, Florida wasn’t any better.

The Panthers put just two shots on goal in the opening 12 minutes, resulting in a purely neutral zone matchup for the majority of the first period. Florida’s defensive pairings did their part to keep those tallies low, however, blocking seven shots in the initial nine minutes.

Charlie McAvoy took the first penalty of the night with 13 seconds remaining in the first, forcing the Bruins to begin the second frame on the kill.

Boston outshot Florida 7-5 in the game’s first 20 minutes, but neither team found the back of the net.

The Bruins were able to kill off the remaining 1:47 of McAvoy’s penalty, but they’d end up shorthanded once again just minutes later when Patrice Bergeron was called for holding. Boston didn’t have any issues killing off the minor.

David Pastrnak got the Bruins on the board with his NHL-leading 16th goal of the year on a 2-on-1 rush created by a nice effort on the backcheck by Bergeron. But it was Pastrnak’s absurd no-look wrist shot that’ll get the headlines on this one. The right winger was looking toward Brad Marchand when he fired on net, ripping one past Bobrovsky.

This only was the start.

Just over two minutes later, Joakim Nordstrom floated in from the right-wing circle and sniped one past Bobrovsky, making it 2-0 in the blink of an eye.

Anders Bjork then decided to join the party roughly three minutes later on the power play, beating Bobrovsky from the right-wing circle with a snapshot that the Panthers goaltender probably will want to have back.

Within a span of 5:25, the Bruins potted three goals on seven shots, blowing this one open.

But just when it felt like the period was over, Zdeno Chara cashed in for a goal of his own with 28 seconds left, pouncing on a David Krejci rebound to make it 4-0.

But the captain’s celebration was even better than the goal.

Boston led 23-12 in the shot department after two.

Florida replaced Bobrovsky following his rough second period, going with backup Sam Montembeault the rest of the way.

The Panthers got on the board 50 seconds into the final frame when Aaron Ekblad beat Rask for his second goal of the season, making it 4-1.

They’d tack on another less than five minutes later thanks to former Bruin Frank Vatrano. The 25-year-old blasted one past Rask from the slot for a power-play goal to cut Boston’s deficit to two with 15 minutes remaining in the game.

Boston was forced to go back on the kill for the third time in less than 10 minutes when Sean Kuraly went off for hooking at the 8:52 mark of the final frame. But Florida made the Bruins pay once again, cashing in on its second power-play goal of the night in the form of a Mike Hoffman backhander that Rask should have easily stopped. Suddenly, it was a one-goal game.

Florida knotted the game at four with 1:39 left when Keith Yandle took advantage of a messy scene in front to crash the net and pot the game-tying goal.

This game would need overtime.

The Bruins were stonewalled on multiple breakaway chances during the five-minute frame, oftentimes completing one too many passes. Florida nabbed a last-minute chance, but Rask turned it away to force a shootout.

Vincent Trocheck converted for Florida as the Panthers’ second shooter, but Charlie Coyle answered as Boston’s third man up to keep its hopes alive.

It wasn’t enough, though, as Hoffman sealed the deal for the Panthers to give them a 5-4 comeback win after McAvoy couldn’t convert his final chance.

The Bruins take on the Maple Leafs on Friday night in Toronto, with puck drop set for 7 p.m. ET.

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