Panthers maul Bruins, 6-2

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Panthers maul Bruins, 6-2

SUNRISE, Fla. Once again the Bruins handed the first two goals over to their opponents, and once they ended stuck with the losing end.

Stop me if youve heard this one already.

The Bruins fell behind 4-1 entering the third period and attempted to stage a furious late comeback, but ended up falling by a 6-2 score to the Florida Panthers at the BankAtlantic Center.

It was the season-worst fourth loss in a row for the Bruins and tagged them with defeats at all three stops along their just-concluded three-game road trip through Pittsburgh, Tampa and Florida. The loss means the Ottawa Senators will have a golden chance to pass them in the Northeast Division with a tilt scheduled against Montreal on Friday night.

This nights slide started at the end of a respectable first period as a bad cross-checking call on Shawn Thornton set up a Mikeal Samuelsson power play goal roofed over Tim Thomas. The Bruins and Panthers traded goals in the first five minutes of the second as a Marcel Goc tipped puck and a Joe Corvo blast made it a 2-1 contest.

But the Panthers kept their foot on the gas pedal and the Bruins simply faded away with all-too-familiar defensive breakdowns and careless passing in their own zone. A poor Zdeno Chara breakout pass to the middle of the ice ended with John Madden pushing a shot past Thomas to make it 4-1.

The Bruins attempted a third period comeback with a Brian Rolston power play strike, but a bad bounce off Adam McQuaids skated handed a goal over to Tomas Kopecky and it was all over. Then another late Florida goal made it six goals against tonight and 36 goals scored against the Bruins in nine March games.

Former Celtics teammates praise Garnett's passion and intensity

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Former Celtics teammates praise Garnett's passion and intensity

WALTHAM, Mass. – Like so many players who have spent part of their NBA journey having Kevin Garnett barking in their ear words of encouragement or just telling them to get the hell out his (bleepin’) way, you can count Avery Bradley among those who will miss the man affectionately known as ‘Big Ticket.’

Garnett recently announced his retirement after 21 NBA seasons, leaving behind a legacy that includes an NBA title won with the Boston Celtics in 2008.

Among the current Celtics, Bradley is the only current member of the team who played with Garnett in Boston.

When Bradley got the news about Garnett’s retirement, he said he sat down and wrote Garnett a letter.

“To let him know how much I appreciate him, how special he is to me,” said Bradley who added that his relationship with Garnett was impactful both on and off the court. “Kevin’s just an amazing person.”

Leon Powe, a member of the Celtics’ championship team in 2008 with Garnett, echoed similar praise about his former teammate.

“As a teammate, as a player, KG meant the world to me,” Powe told CSNNE.com. “Intensity … he brought everything you would want to the game, to the practice field, he was just non-stop energy.”

And when you saw it time after time after time with him, pretty soon it became contagious.

“The intensity just motivated every guy on the team, including me,” Powe said. “It made you want to go out and lay it out on the line for him and the team. You see how passionate he is. You see he’s one of the greats. And when you see one of the greats of the NBA going hard like that all the time, you’re like ‘Man, why can’t I do that? It trickled down to me and every young guy on the team.

Powe added, “He brought that every single day, night, morning, it didn’t matter. He brought that intensity. That’s all you could ask for.”

And Garnett’s impact was about more than changing a franchise’s fortunes in terms of wins and losses.

He also proved to be instrumental in helping re-shape the culture into one in which success was once again defined by winning at the highest levels.

“KG has had as big an impact as anybody I’ve been around in an organization,” said Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations. “The thing that stands out the most to me about KG is his team-first mentality. He never wanted it to be about KG, individual success to trump team success. He lived that in his day-to-day practice. That’s something I’ll remember about him.”