Yesterday afternoon the Boston Bruins hosted the Pittsburgh Penguins in a make-up game for their last and final meeting of the season. Essentially the game was set for Friday night, but due to the manhunt that shut down Boston and its surrounding towns, it had to be postponed.
The Bruins came out roaring in the opening period, getting on the board first with Brad Marchand netting his team-leading 17th of the season. Despite coming out and owning the first twenty minutes of the game, they seemed to lose the momentum when they came out in the second. Five minutes into the middle frame the Penguins were able to get on the board and tie things up. From then on they would surge to a 3-1 lead that carried them to the final 2.6 seconds in a desperate attempt from Tyler Seguin, making the end result 3-2 Penguins.
Penalties were the downfall of the Bruins yesterday afternoon, having three called in the third period against the best powerplay team of the league, not exactly their most brilliant move, despite being a top penalty-killing team. While the Florida Panthers may be struggling as well, they are going to have to bring a full 60-minute effort, something that has been lacking all season long, and play like it’s the Cup Final. Their emotion was present yesterday against Pittsburgh and they fed off the crowd, but were unable to get the result they wanted.
While last season the team’s focus was consistency, this season it’s CHEMISTRY and CONFIDENCE. With the ongoing injury list the Bruins have had this season and the inconsistency with certain players, the lines have seen a lot of changes. In yesterday’s game we saw Milan Lucic in the stands as his team took on the top seed in the Eastern Conference without the likes of top forwards Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and James Neal.
The Boston Bruins are now 1-5-1 in their last 7 games, losing the past four in a row. They are also now four points out of first place in the Northeast Division with two games in hand against the Montreal Canadiens.
The Florida Panthers may not stand a chance at making it to a playoff spot and haven’t found a way to beat Boston as of yet, but that doesn’t mean today will be easy. In fact, the Panthers are struggling just as much to find a victory after dropping to the Devils last night.
Nathan Horton‘s status for today’s matinee game is undetermined after he left the second period with what appeared to be a hand injury after getting in a fight. If Horton sits out today’s game, the likeliness of Lucic being re-inserted to the line up is highly probable over Jay Pandolfo, meaning Swedish elite Carl Soderberg would star in his second professional game.
The rotation of defensemen has been fairly steady through the past few games, helping to keep all nine d-men fresh in time for the playoffs. However, with rotation means change and adaptation, something the Bruins will hopefully be able to contain and work with.
With their new-found physicality, their over-flowing emotion and dire need for victory, the Bruins should come out ready to play one of their best games of the season today as they face the Panthers at 12:30PM.