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.