Marchand (hat trick), Bruins do a number on defenseless Panthers
The Bruins caught the Florida Panthers hibernating last night. Actually, the Panthers were in a cryogenic sleep as they slushed their way around TD Garden during the Bruins’ 8-0 victory.
Brad Marchand had a hat trick as the Bruins improved to 20-2-1 since Nov. 1.
The Panthers, playing back-to-back games and their fourth game in six days, were a couple of steps slow. They were also missing several players with injuries. So, once the outcome had been virtually decided late in the opening period, the visitors were ready to pack it in and try to get home safe and sound for the holidays.
The first to depart was goalie Jose Theodore, who had stopped the Bruins, 2-0, Dec. 8. This time, Theodore was shelled for four goals in the opening period, leaving two periods of Bruins’ target practice for Scott Clemmensen.
While the Panthers were getting in their 40 winks, the Bruins were getting off nearly that many shots, finishing with 35.
The Bruins scored the first time they were shorthanded and on their first power play.
With Gregory Campbell off for high-sticking, Marchand’s backhander beat Theodore at 5:56. After Florida’s Ed Jovanovski was whistled for roughing, Milan Lucic upped the lead to two at 13:40.
Patrice Bergeron set up both goals, dumping the puck behind the net for Marchand, who swooped around to finish, as Theodore appeared to be screened by Shawn Matthias.
On the power play, Bergeron fired wide to the left, Lucic left alone near the crease for the tap-in.
Zach Hamill blasted off the underside of the bar for what appeared to be the game’s third goal at 17:28. Video replays confirmed the no-goal call.
The Bruins soon converted their third and fourth goals, though. Benoit Pouliot left the Panthers flat-footed, going from the Bruins’ blue line almost untouched to score four-on-four at 18:31. Thirty-one seconds later, Dennis Seidenberg blasted a shot past Theodore from the point.
The Bruins took a five-goal advantage on Campbell’s goal at 3:50 of the second. Bergeron scored the sixth off a faceoff at 15:50.
Marchand completed the hat trick with scores at 1:53 and 10:53 of the final period, Tyler Seguin assisting on both.