The Boston Bruins earned their fifth conesecutive victory on Sunday in Sunrise, Florida. They rolled through the Panthers, 5-2, earning a five game season series sweep in doing so. Boston also leapt over the Pittsburgh Penguins for the number one overall spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
Boston’s five-game winning streak marks their longest of the season. Four was the previous high. The Bruins had assembled four four-gamers already this year.
Playing in their second game in less than 24-hours, the Bruins didn’t looked phased by the short turnaround, instead seemed energized. Boston’s offensive was firing on all cylinder right from the start. They directed 27 shots on goal through the first two periods. Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo faced a total of 41 shots when things were all said and done. Their power play was extremely active as well.
Boston controlled the play for the full 20-minutes in the opening period. Both teams were tied at zero heading for the second.
Andrej Meszaros made his debut in black-and-gold and he was a pleasant surprise. Meszaros registered six shots on goal, letting the biscuit fly at will from the point. The big Slovak also notched his sixth goal on the power play with a heavy drive that beat Luongo on the blocker side with Carl Soderberg screening in front. He settled in nicely, logging 20:36 of ice time, good for second on the team behind Zdeno Chara.
His power play goal tied the game at one in the second period after Florida’s Jimmy Hayes opened up the scoring.
Boston would then score two unanswered goals in third period to make the game 3-1. Torey Krug added his 13th tally of the season. He now ranks fourth among defemseman in goals scored. Patrice Bergeron then notched his 18th of the season on the power play. Bergeron also had two assists in the game.
Hayes, a native of Massachusetts, also added the Panthers second and final goal.
Luongo was stellar. He did make 37 saves. Florida’s defense was flat out atrocious. If it wasn’t for Luongo’s quick instincts, the final score would have been much worse. He made on noteworthy save on a shorthanded breakaway bid by Gregory Campbell.
Chad Johnson was in net for the Bruins, giving Tuukka Rask a blow on the tail-end of a back-to-back. He was impressive. Johson stopped 20 shots and upped his record to 13-3-1. The win was his second straight over the Panthers.
The Bruins defensive effort was much improved over Saturday night’s showing. The only negative in this game was the injury sustained by Daniel Paille. The exact extent of the injury was not disclosed, but he left the game in the first period with concussion like symptoms and did not return. According to Claude Julien, the injury is not serious.
Boston’s current three-game road trip will conclude on Wednesday in Montreal.