Boston 2, Florida 1
When: 7:30 PM ET, Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Where: BB&T Center, Sunrise
SUNRISE – (Wire Service Report) – The Boston Bruins are 5-0-0 and have allowed just six total goals when Tuukka Rask is in between the pipes. When Rask is out, the Bruins are 0-4-0, and their three backup goalies have allowed a total of 18 goals. Rask, who had 32 saves and led the Bruins to a 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night at the BB&T Center, is building an early case for league MVP.
His value simply cannot be overstated.
“We had great goaltending, especially in the first period,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said of Rask. “We had a goaltender who was ready to play and kept us in it.”
Tuukka Rask (40)
But it wasn’t all Rask. The Panthers attempted 72 shots — almost twice as many as the 38 by Boston. But most of those Panthers shots did not make it through the Bruins’ defense in front of Rask. In addition, the Panthers went 0-for-7 on their power play. They had a two-man advantage, including a pulled goalie, for much of the final three minutes, but still could not get the equalizer.
“It’s tough when you can’t convert on your power play,” said Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle, who runs the point with the man advantage. “(The Bruins) have big (defensemen), and they are strong in front of their net. It was tough to find the one we needed late. We were an inch or two away or a bounce away.”
Boston’s goals came on a penalty shot by Brad Marchand in the first period and a short-handed marker by Dominic Moore in the second. Marchand, who posted his fourth goal of the season, entered the game leading the NHL in primary points — goals or first assists — at even strength. The Bruins (5-4-0) earned their second straight win, a mini-streak that has coincided with Rask’s return from an apparent hamstring injury.
The Panthers (4-5-1) finally got on the scoreboard with 4:35 left in the third period on the first NHL goal for Denis Malgin, a 19-year-old rookie right winger.
“I had many chances (in previous games), but I didn’t score,” said Malgin, who beat Rask high to the stick side after a great pass from Yandle into the slot. “Now I scored, but we lost.”
Florida then earned their final power play with 3:20 left in the third period and also pulled goalie Roberto Luongo, giving the Panthers their two-man advantage. But it wasn’t enough, sending Florida to its fourth loss in its past five games.
Boston opened the scoring with 16:07 left in the first period. Marchand drew a penalty shot when he was in alone on a breakaway before getting hooked from behind by Reilly Smith. On the penalty shot, Marchand beat Luongo by lifting a backhand shot over the goalie’s glove.