Florida 3, Boston 0
Where: BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida
SUNRISE – Goalie James Reimer made 46 saves on his 30th birthday as the Florida Panthers defeated the Boston Bruins 3-0 on Thursday night at the BB&T Center. Reimer stepped up while the Panthers rested starter Roberto Luongo. Reimer, who hadn’t played since March 2, has won five of his past six starts and has three shutouts this season.
Florida, which got goals from Aaron Ekblad, Nick Bjugstad and Vincent Trocheck, improved to 16-4-1 since Jan. 30. The Panthers, who have won nine
of their past 10 home games, also got two assists from Evgenii Dadonov and one from Bjugstad.
Dadonov has 25 points in the past 21 games. In Bjugstad’s past 11 games, he has 13 points.
Boston, trying to catch the Tampa Bay Lightning for first place in the Atlantic Division, was skating with less rest than the Panthers, having played Tuesday while Florida has been idle since Monday.
The Bruins rested starting goalie Tuukka Rask, who is 20-3-1 with a 1.48 goals-against average in his career against Florida. Anton Khudobin played in place of Rask and made 25 saves.
The Bruins were also without defensemen Zdeno Chara (upper-body injury) and Charlie McAvoy (knee), center Patrice Bergeron (foot) and left winger Jake DeBrusk (upper body).
Boston did get some good news. It got a return from defenseman Torey Krug, who left Tuesday’s game with an undisclosed injury.
The Panthers were without defenseman Alex Petrovic (lower-body injury).
Florida opened the scoring with 6:25 elapsed in the first period. After getting a steal at the blue line, Dadonov ripped a shot that was deflected by Bjugstad and stopped by Khudobin. But Ekblad was on the doorstep to whack the rebound in out of the air.
The Panthers extended their lead to 2-0 with 9:06 gone in the first. Dadonov entered the zone on the left wing with speed, finding Bjugstad for the tap-in with a perfect pass right in front.
Florida made it 3-0 with 14:07 expired in the second as Trocheck scored a power-play goal. After Boston’s Rick Nash was penalized for crashing into Reimer, the Panthers controlled the puck for nearly 90 seconds before Trocheck scored on a wrist shot from the right circle to the far side.
— Field Level Media