An appropriate use of terminology given that Spring training is well underway for the Boston Red Sox, though the Boston Bruins may have introduced it into their hockey lexicon this afternoon.
Milan Lucic, Zdeno Chara and Chris Kelly each scored a goal for the Boston Bruins on Sunday afternoon as the Brawlers beat the Florida Panthers 4-1, but if it weren’t for Panthers’ goalie Jacob Markstrom’s remarkable effort, the score would have been much higher
Looking every bit the undisciplined defensive team that has led to an abysmal 5-8-4 record, the Panthers defense couldn’t keep up with the speed and crisp passing of the Bruins attacking lines, leaving the patient Bruins with opportunity after opportunity not just to tip one in or to snap in a rebound, but to fully extend, wind up and fire rockets repeatedly at Markstrom.
The beleaguered net minder stopped 28 of the 31 shots that he faced, and it was bombs from the high point, including Lucic’s laser from the top of the left circle that loosened up the defense inside, allowing the Bruins to get open for point blank opportunities on the skittish Markstrom….
…including Zdeno Chara, who took a pass from Brad Marchand at the high point, spinning as he pulled the puck in close, his length giving him the spacing advantage for a wide open backhanded flip that easily beat Markstrom to the top shelf, giving the Bruins all the offense they would need at 2-0.
Tomas Kopecky scored his fifth of the season to get the Panthers within a goal at the first break, poking in the puck from out of a scrum in front the Boston net that Rask never saw – but that was all that Rask would allow to get past him, stopping 34 of 35 including surviving an all out 17 shot barrage late in the final frame.
Kelly’s 1st goal of the season game on a tip in of Daniel Paille deflected shot to make the score 3-1 early in the second and, adding insult to injury, Paille scored a short-handed, empty net goal to provide the final score.
The loss was Florida’s 7th in their last eight games and their fifth straight at home, and things get no easier as they host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday before welcoming the Buffalo Sabres on Thrusday.
The Bruins now begin a difficult stretch of five games in seven nights starting Tuesday on the island, then home for three straight, hosting Ottawa on Thursday, Tampa Bay on Saturday and Montreal on Sunday.