BOSTON -- Here are five thoughts from third period with the Bruins bagging the Florida Panthers by a 3-0 score after 60 minutes of play at TD Garden.
1) Still not enough offensive finish for the Bruins as they could only put a couple past the worst defensive team in the league. Plenty of shots on net -- which is good -- but not enough of those chances are turning into actual production.
2) Zdeno Chara was slow to get up after getting tangled up with a Panthers skater in front of the Florida bench with little more than five minutes to go in the third period. He was on all fours stretching out his ankle and knee for a few long minutes, but he appeared to be okay as he skated for the penalty box.
3) Big answer from Tuukka Rask with the shutout after both the coach and the goaltender himself challenged the job he’d done against the Penguins on Saturday. Big time performance. It was the Florida Panthers, of course, but still give credit where it's due.
4) Three shots on net and five hits for Milan Lucic in 11:12 of ice time. There were no points, but that’s okay because it looked like No. 17 was starting to build toward something with his play on Sunday afternoon. That is the player that the Bruins need for the playoffs.
5) Good luck generating some excitement for next year if you’re the Panthers. What a dismal year it’s been for them.
FIVE FROM THE SECOND PERIOD
1) Tuukka Rask has brought his “A” game today after Claude Julien called out the goaltender (and Rask called out himself) on Saturday following their loss to the Penguins. There have been plenty of deflections and quick shots around the net, but Rask has closed up the pads and been a stone wall in front of the net. Twenty saves thus far and he's made all of the big ones when the Bruins were clinging to a slim one-goal lead.
2) Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin again all over the ice in the first two periods with 11 of the 28 shots for the Black and Gold. They don’t have a goal yet, but could definitely explode here in the third period after some good chances in the first 40 minutes.
3) Milan Lucic really set the tone with the first shift of the second period when he threw out a pair of registered hits on the first shift and showed the kind of hibernating physicality in his game. You could feel the energy lift around the rest of the team once No. 17 started rolling out the punishment along the boards.
4) The Bruins had a great power play in the first period that netted three shots and 90 seconds in the offensive zone, but had a terrible PP possession in the second period after Jaromir Jagr hustled to draw a penalty. They still need to get more consistency out of the man advantage.
5) Dougie Hamilton has been a scratch lately and there’s some question as to whether the 19-year-old is ready for the rigors of the Stanley Cup playoffs, but he showed the upside in the second period. A Hamilton blast from the right point snapped an eight game goalless streak and showed what he can bring to a Bruins team that could definitely use the extra offense. He’s been pretty good today with a chance to audition for a playoff spot as Adam McQuaid is walking gingerly around the press box in a suit and tie after taking a cheap shot from Matt Cooke on Saturday.
FIVE FROM THE FIRST PERIOD
1) Brad Marchand has three of Boston’s seven shots in the first period, and Jaromir Jagr -- who scored the game’s only goal -- and Shawn Thornton are the only other forwards to have a shot on net. It’s time for the rest of the B’s forwards to wake up and start getting up close and personal with Florida goaltender Jacob Markstrom. Marchand has had at least two shots from the slot area with heavy traffic in front, and could easily have another goal at this point given his work thus far.
2) Jaromir Jagr continues on an great run with the Bruins since arriving in Boston with a great play to strip Shawn Matthias of the puck on the side boards, curl toward the net and flip a top shelf shot at the Florida net that beat Markstrom. Just a pure goal-scorer's move from Jagr, who has clearly given Boston an offensive boost during his time here.
3) No shots, one hit and a giveaway from Milan Lucic in five minutes of first period ice time. He’s still not engaged into things like he should be. I really expected him to be a house of fire today, and he hasn’t quite been that. You really wonder how much of his struggles are mental rather than physical at this point because the fire doesn’t seem to be lit.
4) Carl Soderberg has been better today, but it also looks like he’s been slipping into playing center a lot more between Chris Kelly and Jaromir Jagr. He picked up his first-career NHL point in Jagr’s goal and has made a few more plays getting pucks into the Florida zone.
5) Ten saves for Tuukka Rask including a couple of very solid ones against Florida, but the Boston defense has also done a very good job of keeping shooters away from the slot area today.