Everything you need to know from the Bruins’ 4-1 loss against the Panthers in quickie form, with BSJ insight and analysis…
Bruins lay egg on home ice: While zone possession time, shot attempts (61-35) and shots on goal (31-23) were firmly in Boston’s favor for most of Saturday’s matinee matchup against the Panthers, these numbers didn’t translate to the on-ice product, as the Bruins looked awfully flat for most of the day en route to a 4-1 loss. This stands as Boston’s first loss at TD Garden since all the way back on Jan. 19 — snapping a streak of 12 straight wins on home ice. Even with all of their extended shifts in Florida’s zone, Boston still only managed to generate three more high-danger scoring chances than the Panthers — who were kept afloat thanks to a 30-save effort from Roberto Luongo.
Boston already has a playoff spot locked up and the Panthers don’t have much to play for at this point other than pride, but Saturday was still a disheartening result against a team that ranks 29th in the NHL in goals allowed per game (3.35), especially with Boston’s big guns in Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron seeing their 17-game home point streaks snapped. Chalk it up to poor puck luck, a lack of second-chance opportunities, power-play breakdowns or a needed save from Tuukka Rask that didn’t come. Whatever the cause may be, this is far from what the Bruins want to see with playoff hockey less than two weeks away.
Rask in a rut?: With only one or two more starts scheduled before the the playoffs, it looks as though Rask might be fighting the puck a bit at a pretty crucial point in the schedule. After allowing three goals on 22 shots — including a backbreaking shorthanded tally from Troy Brouwer just 1:07 after Noel Acciari put the B’s on the board — Rask is now just 2-4-0 in his last six outings with a less-than-stellar .865 save percentage. Not really what you want to see from your No. 1 goalie going into the playoffs. A return to form over his final two or three appearances of the regular season will be crucial for Rask, especially given Bruce Cassidy’s comments earlier this week when it comes a potential tandem in net going into the playoffs. Jaroslav Halak (.924 save percentage in 30 playoff games) is lurking.