Sunday, April 21, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Bruins 3, Panthers 0
By James Murphy
BOSTON -- Jaromir Jagr, Dougie Hamilton and Brad Marchand scored and Tuukka Rask made 28 saves for the shutout as the Bruins snapped a four-game losing streak with a 3-0 win over the Panthers Sunday at TD Garden.
With the win, Boston is back in first place in the Northeast Division with a game in hand on the Canadiens and four games left in the regular season.
Rask responds with shutout -- After being called out by coach Claude Julien following the 3-2 loss to the Penguins on Saturday, Rask once again answered the bell, earning his fourth shutout of the season. Following Saturday's loss, Julien, who criticized Rask earlier in the season, sought more timely saves by Rask and cited the goaltending as one of the reasons the Bruins allowed two power-play goals. On Sunday, the Panthers were 0-for-2 on the power play and were blanked for the game because Rask was there for every scoring chance. While this scribe didn’t think Rask was bad on Saturday, he was superb on Sunday, and as he has in the past, quieted critics with his play.
Jagr continues to make an impact -- Since being acquired by the Bruins on April 2, Jagr has been a consistent offensive presence. With his goal Sunday, Jagr has two goals and six assists in nine games with Boston. Jagr also tied Phil Esposito on the all-time game-winning goals list with 118. His puck possession and presence in scoring areas have made him a future Hall of Famer, but his calmness and instincts also become apparent when you regularly get to see him play. The Bruins would benefit from those qualities rubbing off on his teammates.
Soderberg gets first NHL point -- In only his second game, Carl Soderberg registered his first NHL point with an assist on Jagr’s goal. Skating on a line with Jagr and Chris Kelly, who also assisted on the goal, Soderberg appeared more comfortable Sunday. If he can utilize his size and scoring touch more, he should soon be lighting the lamp as well. But through two games, Soderberg appears to be making a smooth transition to the NHL.
Rested Hamilton returns -- After being a healthy scratch on Saturday against Pittsburgh and in three of the last five games, rookie Dougie Hamilton was back in the lineup thanks to Adam McQuaid’s lower body injury. The rest appeared to help Hamilton as he scored the Bruins’ second goal and played a much better all-around game. Hamilton had been struggling as of late, specifically when carrying the puck out of the defensive zone but on Sunday he looked more comfortable and was making smart decisions with the puck.
Lucic still trying to find his game -- With Nathan Horton missing the game with an upper body, Milan Lucic was back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch on Saturday. Lucic skated on a line with Rich Peverley and David Krejci. While he did register three shots and five hits, he still seems to be searching for his game. The Lucic who had two straight 20-goal seasons and barreled down the wing and to the net using his size and grit has been absent for a while now and even with Horton out, if he doesn’t find his game soon, he will be watching from above again.
Here’s what the lineup looked like to start the game Sunday:
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Rich Peverley.
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Carl Soderberg-Chris Kelly-Jaromir Jagr.
Danny Paille-Greg Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Dougie Hamilton
Wade Redden-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk