Bruins run winning streak to four with 5-2 win over Panthers


BOSTON – The Bruins knew it was going to be a slog successfully getting through a game against a Florida team that’s already been eliminated from playoff contention, and slog they absolutely did on Saturday afternoon.

It was all in a winning effort, of course, as the Bruins never trailed and ultimately took down the Panthers 5-2 at TD Garden for their fourth win in a row.

The B’s got on the board first when fourth-line spark plug Noel Acciari took full advantage of Jakub Kindl fanning on a point shot the Boston blue line, then engineered a breakaway bid that beat Reto Berra to the far side of the net. Acciari also drew a delayed hooking call on Kindl along the way, but he was able to fight through it for his second goal in the past three games.

Thomas Vanek tied it up in the opening minutes of the second period on a deflection in front, but the game didn’t stay deadlocked for very long. Patrice Bergeron slammed home the rebound of a Zdeno Chara point blast for his 19th goal of the season about six minutes later. That score was upheld after a coach’s challenge tried to assert that Brad Marchand interfered with Berra.

The Panthers again tied it on a Jaromir Jagr power-play goal after Tuukka Rask kicked a rebound straight into the high-slot area, but that was the last time things were tied in the Atlantic Division battle, thanks to some largesse from the Florida goaltender.

With about five minutes to go in the second, Berra aggressively tried to play a puck with David Pastrnak bearing down on him. Berra mistakenly banked the puck off the boards directly to David Krejci, who fired the puck into the open net for the eventual game-winner. 

Marchand and Bergeron scored late in the third period to make it a seem a much more mismatched game than it actually was. Marchand's tally put the B’s agitator one score away from 40 goals on the season. 


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