Florida Panthers Drop Third Straight, Collapsing Against the Bruins 5-1

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 31: Vincent Trocheck
BOSTON, MA - MARCH 31: Vincent Trocheck /

After dropping their last two games in Ottawa and Toronto respectively, the Florida Panthers were searching for a win in Boston this afternoon, hopeful to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Netminder James Reimer would get the start in-goal for the Panthers today, while opposing goaltender Tuukka Rask would start for his respective side. Panthers’ prospect Henrik Borgstrom would also suit up in his 2nd career NHL game, hopeful to provide the Cats with some much-needed offense upfront.

Over the last few games, the Panthers have gotten off to some pretty awful starts, seen most notably in Toronto the other day. Today however, was a little different. The Cats came out energetic, pouring pressure on the Bruins’ defense early. Boston was countering the Panthers’ attack quite well, developing their own pressure down deep in Panthers’ territory.

Florida’s early pressure led to a goal early on, courtesy of Jamie McGinn. Vincent Trocheck snapped a shot on goal, which floated around Rask’s crease for Jamie McGinn to pounce on. McGinn did just that and gave the Panthers an early one-goal lead:

Soon after McGinn’s opening goal, the momentum completely shifted. It was the Panthers who were getting hemmed in their own zone, running around like headless chickens. Boston’s defense was doing an excellent job at plugging the side of the boards, trapping the Panthers in their own zone.

Eventually, after all that pressure created in Florida’s zone, the Bruins finally cashed in. David Krejci spun around and fired a shot towards goal, where Nick Holden tipped the shot top-shelf:

Minutes later, Jake DeBrusk scored to give the Bruins their first lead of the afternoon. After getting pinned in their own zone for a significant amount of time, Donato sent a pass to the side of the net, where DeBrusk snapped home the Bruins’ second goal.

The Bruins continued their dominant play, closing out the first frame by a score of 2-1. Florida managed to get off to an early start, but somehow collapsed shortly afterwards.

The Panthers’ struggling play continued into the second, where they gave up an early goal. This time, Ryan Donato scored with a minute and a half in, completely sniping one past Reimer’s blocker:

Shortly after Donato’s goal, Micheal Haley and Adam McQuaid each dropped their gloves for a fight. The fight didn’t last long as the two were grabbing onto each others jerseys, followed by the referees breaking up the scrap. But, the fists continued to fly when Vincent Trocheck and his entire line got into a 5-v-5 brawl against Marchand’s line.

Vinnie Trocheck and Brad Marchand would both serve penalties for roughing, with Marchand getting the extra penalty, which was served by Danton Heinen. Marchand’s extra call would send the Panthers to their first power play of the game, giving them a chance to cut the Bruins’ lead.

Needless to say, the Panthers’ man advantage was poorly played, struggling to get set up in the Bruins’ zone. The Cats were struggling to even make a breakout pass, while the Bruins continued icing the puck down the ice.

Boston received a power play of their own, through Micheal Haley’s holding call on Torey Krug. It didn’t take the Bruins long to score on the man advantage, with Patrice Bergeron slotting in the Bruins’ 4th goal:

Seconds after Bergeron’s goal, Panthers’ head coach Bob Boughner called for a coach’s challenge. The challenge was for goaltender interference, which the referees went upstairs to review and found that there was no goaltender interference on the play, signaling that it would be a good goal (4-1 BOS).

Just minutes after Bergeron’s goal and the Bruins added a fifth to their name. Matt Grzelcyk drove to the net and threw a wrister at James Reimer, which left a loose puck hanging in the goal crease. DeBrusk pounced on it and slotted the loose puck home (5-1 Bruins).

The Cats horrendous play finally came to an end at the buzzer, where the Panthers would head into the locker room down by four goals after two. For the Panthers, they had quite the hill to climb in the third, notably shown by Boston’s 5-1 lead.

Much of the third period was Boston clogging the neutral zone, making life difficult for the Panthers. Tuukka Rask made a couple solid saves along the way, but had a relatively easy third period.

The Panthers also managed to squander another power play, early on, which perfectly summed up their afternoon. The Boston Bruins would go on to win by a score of 5-1, while also leaping over the surging Tampa Bay Lightning for first in the Atlantic. This afternoon’s defeat extended the Panthers’ losing streak to three games.

Next: Aleksander Barkov Has Carried the Florida Panthers

Once again, the Florida Panthers failed to show up with enough energy, completely letting go of the gas pedal early on. Boston were too much for the Cats to handle, which was evidently shown by this afternoon’s contest. Your struggling Florida Panthers are back in action on Monday, April 2nd @7:30pm against the Carolina Hurricanes