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Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton Do the Hat Dance: Boston Bruins 4, Florida Panthers 0

Hortonboston BRUINS 4, PANTHERS 0


BOSTON – The Bruins haven't scored many goals against the Panthers on home ice recently, but on Thursday night, Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton did some damage.

Lucic recorded his second career hat trick off passes from the former Florida sniper and backup goalie Tuukka Rask stopped all 41 shots he faced as the Bruins rolled to a 4-0 victory over the Panthers at TD Garden.

Horton, traded to Boston from Florida during the summer, had his first three-point night since he scored a goal with two assists in Tampa last April – his second-to-last game as a member of the Panthers.

“They all mean a lot, you want to win games and be in the best position for the playoffs,'' said Horton, as Lucic stood nearby wearing a plaid fedora that his teammates all autographed. “But it's definitely nice to beat my old team. [Lucic's] been great all year, is a great player. What an unbelievable game by him.''

When Lucic scored Boston's first goal at 15:37 of the opening period, it was the first time the Panthers had been scored on in Boston since the 2008-09 season. The Panthers shutout streak in Boston lasted 151:06.

Both Tomas Vokoun and Scott Clemmensen recorded shutouts here last season as the Panthers won both games at the Garden by 1-0 scores. Florida also beat the Bruins here by a 1-0 score (with Craig Anderson in net) at the end of the 2007-08 season.

Lucic's second and third goals put the Panthers away as he scored twice within a 15-second span with a little over five minutes remaining in the game. Shawn Thornton put the whipped cream on the victory when he scored with 3:54 left to completely, absolutely, put things away.

Until then, however, it was a game. A game the Panthers felt they could even up. David Booth, who was questionable to play before the game, took 14 shots at Rask. One was so hard that it knocked the mask clear off the goalies head. Rask smirked and continued on. It wasn't the Panthers night.

“I just kept shooting, there were rebounds I could have gotten to,'' Booth said. “It was a 1-0 game, we were right there, we outshot them. We didn't get the two points, but if we keep playing like that, we'll find success.''

Vokoun was strong in net for the Panthers once more – he had given up but one goal in each of his previous three starts – but he couldn't hold the Bruins (or Lucic) off all night. The Panthers had a number of chances during the third period to tie the score but couldn't get the puck past Rask.

Rask won 22 games for the Bruins last season as he supplanted Tim Thomas as the starter. But Thomas has been fantastic this season and Rask is back to being the backup. Not only did Thursday mark Rask's first shutout of the season, it also brought his first win. Rask came into the game 0-4-1. Thomas, who won in New York on Wednesday, is 10-1-0.

“It's a nice luxury to have,'' coach Pete DeBoer said, “when the other guy is playing better than that. He was great tonight but we gave one hell of an effort. He was there all night. It looked like we could have taken a hundred shots and nothing was going to go through.''


Florida has not scored a power play goal in its past four games and went 0-for-5 against the Bruins on Thursday. The Panthers came into Thursday with the league's 29th ranked power play unit. The Panthers five power play goals are fewest in the league.

“Tuukka Rask was our power play problem,'' DeBoer said. “We created plenty of chances. When they have a goalie playing like that .-.-.''

-- Rostislav Olesz was hit in the hand by a puck on Thursday and he had to leave the game. He will be further evaluated on Friday. Bruiser Darcy Hordichuk left the game to get stitched up after his first period fight with Shawn Thornton but returned.

-- The Panthers plan on holding practice at Northeastern University in Boston on Friday afternoon before flying to Long Island. Florida visits the struggling Islanders on Saturday night.


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Coach DeBoer, no Tuukka Rask was not your problem on the power play, you are 29th in the league on the power play and last in goals; that is a season long problem.

We have no finishers, we can't take advantage of advantages that will lead to wins.

I applaud the effort it is there, but why was Repik not playing.

We are not going to win the cup this year, lets see what the kid can do.

Not only should we have played him, he should be on the power play it can't get much worse.

saying that Rask was our power play problem is like the Dolphins saying the bears defense was their offensive problems last night.

We all know better, we can see!!!!!

Our power play stinks, we don't have a good power play, we haven't had a good power play in over a decade;

Time to change up the power play coach, it is the lack of a finisher or lack of crisp passes and lack of movement on the power play that kills our power plays not the other teams goalie.

The goalie was great for them and Vokoun was great for us, the effort was there and I applaud that but we stink on the power play and until that changes we will be on the outside looking in.

14 shots and 0 goals for David Booth...how's your shooting percentage?? Someone needs to remind him that hockey is a team game and that he can pass it to his teammates every once in awhile.

JJ i couldnt disagree with you more. Booth was outstanding last night. Who failed were his linemates not getting to a single damn rebound. We dont have a sniper.
As any coach will tel you, the best pass in hockey is the rebound.

GR, can you explain what happened on the bench minor? All we saw on tv was Mcabe take the penalty and then a fan being escorted out of the arena. Any info big guy?

GR, Can you tell us why Hulton still has a job running the power play?

AG the player has to shoot for a rebound. Booth always shoots high. Who does Booth think he is Ovechkin?

I dont know what booth thinks, but i think he is our biggest threat and i want him to shoot , shoot, shoot, and his linesmans to crash the net net net!

Why was Repik not playing last night? Seriously, Horichuk fight seemed like a waste. The Oslez injury hurts, he has created a ton of scoring chances of late. oh well, tough loss. But the Panthers need to rebound against the islanders.

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