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Florida Panthers Get Mauled by Tim Thomas and Bruins 2-1 ... Shawn Matthias Ankle "Doesn't Look Good" ... Erik Gudbrasnon Suspended by OHL (With Video)

Thomas BRUINS 2, PANTHERS 1

BOSTON – The Panthers probably didn't deserve to win after the way they played Tuesday night in New York, only thanks to a fluke goal in the third, they somehow did just that.

Florida didn't really deserve to win Wednesday night, either, although the Panthers made a better case for themselves with a strong showing in the third. This time, however, the opposing goalie made sure Florida went home for the All-Star break empty handed.

Tim Thomas, who will be playing in the NHL festival in North Carolina this weekend, continued to control the Panthers offense as he made 34 saves as the Bruins swept the four-game season series from Florida with a 2-1 win at the Garden.

The Panthers scored four goals in four games against the Bruins this season.

Allstarlogo “He's one of the best goalies in the league and when he sees the puck, he's going to stop it,'' winger David Booth said. “You have to get rebound goals against him. That's what we needed.''

The loss was Florida's fifth in its final six games going into the short weekend reprieve. The Panthers failed to pick up any more ground on division rivals Atlanta or Carolina in the race for the final playoff spot.

The Panthers, down 2-0 in the third, pulled to within one when defenseman Bryan Allen scored midway through the period. Florida had numerous other chances – including when Dennis Wideman and Chris Higgins went after Thomas later in the period – but couldn't find another goal.

“He's a frustrating guy to play against because he's not the most orthodox goalie,'' Higgins said. “He just throws himself in front of the puck. They're a solid defensive team and don't give up too many chances. Thomas made some big saves, especially in the third. You would like to gain a little confidence against a team like this. These guys seem to have our number.''

Matthias Florida may have lost center Shawn Matthias for a considerable amount of time after he was helped off the ice after he could barely stand after getting jammed against the boards.

Matthias, who has 13 goals and 19 assists in 102 games over the past two seasons, was driving hard at the net when he was pulled down by Adam McQuaid while putting a shot up against Thomas. Matthias whipped back and slid hard into the boards.

Matthias tossed his stick aside as he tried to get back up, only he couldn't support himself and he tried crawling along the side boards back to the Florida bench. An official finally – and mercifully – stopped play allowing teammates and trainers to come to his aid. Matthias was helped to the locker room and didn't return.

“It doesn't look good,'' coach Pete DeBoer said of Matthias' ankle injury. “We'll know more when we see a better picture of it. But it doesn't look good.''

Boston controlled the flow of the game as the Panthers were playing their second in as many nights – although the Bruins played in Los Angeles on Monday.

In the first period, Brad Marchand gave Boston the opening lead with a wraparound goal Tomas Vokoun (the game's third star with 33 saves) was a step late on. The play was reviewed in Toronto but the decision came back quickly as the puck obviously went past Vokoun's stick and over the line.

Milan Lucic gave the Bruins a two-goal cushion just before the Matthias injury at 1:52 of the second period. Lucic scored three goals against the Panthers in Florida's previous visit to Boston, a 4-0 Bruins victory on Nov. 18.

Former Panthers winger Nathan Horton, who assisted on all three of Lucic's goal in November, continues to struggle. Horton, who told general manager Dale Tallon he wouldn't mind leaving South Florida and then promptly got his wish, has one goal in his past 20 games and none in 10. Horton opened the season with seven goals in his first 12 games. Horton has 12 goals in 48 games this season.

NEWS, NOTES

Gudbransondraft Panthers prospect Erik Gudbranson was suspended indefinitely by the Ontario Hockey League on Wednesday after the 19-year-old defenseman crushed a forward from a rival team in retaliation for a hit put on a teammate.

Gudbranson, playing for the Kingston Frontenacs, went after Oshawa's J.P. Labardo after Labardo dropped Kingston goalie Philipp Grubauer with an open-ice hit. This is the second suspension this month for Gudbranson – the third overall pick of the 2010 draft. He was suspended for a game last week and stripped of his title as alternate captain by the team after he apparently got into a shouting match with members of his coaching staff.

Panthers assistant general manager Mike Santos said the team is not concerned with the suspensions as one (insubordination) had nothing to do with the other (defending a teammate). Labardo was suspended five games for his hit to the head of the Kingston goalie.

“He's an 18-year-old kid who has had a lot of things thrown at him in the past couple of months,'' Santos said. “He realized he spoke out of line a little bit and is willing to pay for that and did that with the one game suspension. He didn't lose any respect from his coaches or teammates. I want a guy who plays with a little edge, is a little nasty. But he's a kid and has to grow into that.''

In an interesting twist, Panthers coach Pete DeBoer is a part-owner of the Oshawa Generals. He said Wednesday that he has very little contact with the franchise as far as day-to-day operations go, and says he has never even met Labardo. DeBoer and former NHL winger Adam Graves bought the Generals last year. DeBoer had been coach and general manager of the OHL's Kitchener Rangers.

“As long as there wasn't an injury,'' DeBoer said, “I'm probably more concerned about Erik than I am about anything else.''

-- The Panthers used the same lineup Wednesday as they did Tuesday against the New York Rangers, meaning Vokoun got his second straight start since missing Sunday's game with a muscle pull. Steve Bernier, who has one goal in the past 24 games, was a healthy scratch for the second straight night as was defenseman Joe Callahan.

Callahan was sent back to Florida's AHL affiliate in Rochester, N.Y., following the game.
 

Comments

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Panthers were outplayed tonight. But the biggest loss, Matthias. He creates a lot of scoring chances! Get well soon Matthias!

I wonder who will be brought up in place of Matthias?

the jinx hits again. Ever since the monk promotion this team has been going down hill, Trevor Kidd gets injured in practice shortly after this started when Peter Worrell fell on him.

Saying that, this team also does not have the attitude of hating to lose.

It is clear that Tallon will have to make a lot more changes before this team can compete, however I still expect Yormark to pull the rug out and take away from the budget for scouting and development

It's not up to Yormark. It's up to the ownership./

I turned the game off after Boston's second goal. The game was ugly and hard to watch, not too mention having to listen to Billy Lindsay. Later in the evening I watched the end of LA and San Jose on Center Ice and that was a hockey game. Someone should show the video of that game to the Panthers players and coaches and explain that is how you play hockey. There was a lot of bad giveways by Sharks but it was end to end hockey. Watch a Panthers game and most of the game is broken passes, yawn. That is what you get when every year they draft a defenseman with their top pick. This year draft a top forward this team needs scoring, please not another defenseman. Yes Gudbranson is very good but the team needs players that can score. How many broken passes can one person watch in a game. Panthers hockey = boring hockey.

It is clear that the board will have to change long before this team can compete, but I still expect Yormark grass cut and remove the budget to test and develop.

Well, the Panthers have a couple days to regroup. I hope its not optional skate for the forwards during the break. They still are in it for the playoffs but barely.

I would like to see Deboer stick with same first and second line until the trade deadline. Keep Dadonov with the first line since he creates the most chances and is hitting. Bring up Santorrelli with frolik and see what happens the first line. Lets see what they can do with the youngins in charge of the first line.Lets see if the kids can manage a top line.

Put weiss, booth, higgy together on the second line. We already know weiss and booth are second liners. What is there to lose at this point. The veteran forwards have not stepped up enough, cant wait to see who is traded at the deadline for a big physical forward that sits at the net.

Finally, we got a tough player!!!! Go Erik!!!

Wish the kids head would have fallen off. He hit the teams goalie and Guds took his head off. Kudos to him, he's exactly what the Panthers need. Wish he was on the ice when Richards hit Booth.

HOW TO RUIN A YOUNG TALENTED HOCKEY PLAYER?


- GET DRAFTED BY THE FLORIDA PANTHERS


MATTHIAS HURT?

- WHO CARES! HE STINKS!

This is clear that the board will change long before this team can compete but still waiting Yormark grass cut and remove the budget for experimentation and development.

The Florida loss was his fifth final of six games entering the short stay at weekends. The Panthers did not recover any reason in their division rivals Atlanta and Carolina in the race for playoff spot.

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