Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins defeating the Florida Panthers 5-2 at the BB&T Center:
1) Carl Soderberg is becoming an absolute beast around the net centering the third line. He was unstoppable on Patrice Bergeron’s third-period goal while winning battle after battle, and was constantly a factor in front of the Florida net. He finished with two points (1 goal, 1 assist) and four shots on net, and now has seven points in seven games since the Olympic break.
2) Andrej Meszaros topped 20 minutes of ice time, finished with eight generated shot attempts and should eventually get credited with the power-play goal in the second period that went to Soderberg instead. He looked pretty darn good skating with Zdeno Chara as a top pairing D, but the caveat is that it was Florida.
3) The Bruins have won 16 straight games combined against the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers after Sunday afternoon’s victory. Thanks, NHL realignment!
4) Jarome Iginla with seven generated shot attempts as well in a strong game, and scored his 550th career goal in the NHL on a sweet strike from the slot after Florida had closed to 3-2 in the third period.
5) Roberto Luongo ended up with 37 saves in a good effort, but, man, did the roof cave in on Bobby Lou in the third period once Eric Gudbranson and Dmitry Kulikov went down with injuries.
Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins and Panthers locked in a 1-1 tie:
1) Jimmy Hayes lived out the dream by scoring a goal against the Bruins as a Dorchester kid who grew up loving the Black and Gold. A big celebration commenced after the rebound goal by the Panthers forward, but it’s exactly as you would expect for a Boston kid through and through who starred at Boston College before hitting the NHL.
2) Andrej Meszaros may or may not get credited for the goal in the second period, but it seems that he was the scorer with his big shot that went off the blocker of Roberto Luongo before ending up in the back of the net. He’s also second in TOI behind only Zdeno Chara against the Panthers. He’s looked very good for the Black and Gold.
3) Another really strong game for Carl Soderberg whether he gets the goal or not as it was his screen that completely took Roberto Luongo out of the play on Andrej Meszaros’ big point shot. He’s got three shots on net and has won 5-of-9 face-offs in 10:51 of ice time centering the third line.
4) Daniel Paille won’t return after taking a high hit from Ed Jovanovski in the first period, and that’s not a good sign given the forward’s history with concussions this season. Looks like it will be Jordan Caron time again. That’s really not a good trade for the Bruins.
5) Panthers have been outshot 27-15, but Luongo is keeping them in it thus far. That guy is money on a terrible team with o chance at the playoffs
Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Panthers locked in a scoreless tie:
1) Daniel Paille was lost for the rest of the period on the very first shift of the game. Paille took a heavy Ed Jovanovski hit on the chin while up against the boards in the corner, and immediately went off the ice and down the tunnel. For a player that had already been dealing with a concussion this season, that’s not a good sign.
2) Pretty good first period for Andrej Meszaros, who skated 7:20 in the first frame, got some power-play time and led the Bruins with three shots on net and five generated shot attempts through the first period. He looked comfortable and aggressive skating with Chara after a turnover on his very first shift of the game. Nice, strong canon of a shot from the point on the power play, and he showed a real willingness to let it fly. In that way, he is the anti-Kaberle.
3) Roberto Luongo with 12 saves in the first period, and he looked very sharp against a Bruins team that’s had some pretty good chances against the weak Florida defense. Panthers playing the Louis C.K. theme every time he makes a big save. That could get old really quickly.
4) Two shots in 6:25 of ice time for Brad Boyes, but Scott Gomez and Jesse Winchester had the best chances against a solid Chad Johnson in the first period. The Bruins outnumber the Panthers in scoring chances, 7-2.
5) Milan Lucic took a Torey Krug wrist shot off the inside of his left knee and looked like he was in a world of pain on the bench, but he returned for the rest of the first period.