Bruins dominate Thomas' Panthers, 6-2

Bruins dominate Thomas' Panthers, 6-2
January 28, 2014, 9:45 pm
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BOSTON – The beat goes on for a Bruins team that is absolutely rolling as they inch closer to the Olympic break.

The B’s improved to 5-0-1 in their last six games with a 6-2 domination of the Florida Panthers, and improved to 8-3-1 in the month of January while cementing their place atop the division and the conference. They’ve outscored and outclassed the Flyers, Islanders and Panthers by an 18-6 margin their last three games.

Milan Lucic snapped out of a one goal in his last 14 games funk by potting a pair of goals in the victory while throwing his weight around by the Florida net, and Reilly Smith, Shawn Thornton and Zdeno Chara all added goals in the decisive win over the Panthers.

The six goals allowed for Tim Thomas in his return to TD Garden are a season-high for the Florida goaltender, and he serenaded with derisive “Thom-as” chants as things got out of hand in the second and third period.

The Bruins pushed things out of hand early when they outshot the Panthers by a 19-8 margin in the opening 20 minutes, and Lucic and Chara both scored goals off goals courtesy of heavy traffic in front of the net. Lucic added another goal in the second when Thomas couldn’t freeze a Matt Bartkowski point shot underneath his pads, and the Carl Soderberg-Reilly Smith connection produced another power play goal on the backdoor play. The cherry on top of the sundae was a backhanded top shelf beauty from Shawn Thornton in the third period that stopped a bit of Florida momentum, and let out a giant smile from the B’s enforcer. David Krejci finished off the scoring with a couple of minutes left in the third period.

At the other end of the ice, Tuukka was solid in making 27 saves in a game where the Bruins eased it into cruise control halfway through the game.