SUNRISE, Florida – The Bruins were about due for one of those duds after the injuries and an arduous schedule began piling on them this month.
That finally happened on Thursday night in Florida as there was no comeback, and no third period hat tricks and instead there was just a 3-0 shutout loss to James Reimer and the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center. It was only the second time all season that the Bruins have been shut out (and the first since the second game of the season on October 9), though that clearly becomes a bit of an easier chore for another team when Patrice Bergeron, Charlie McAvoy, Zdeno Chara and Jake DeBrusk are missing from the lineup.
To add insult to injury, David Backes was also bounced from the game midway through the first period with a match penalty after a big neutral zone hit on Vincent Trocheck. Before and after that hit, though, it was all Florida in the game as Aaron Ekblad tapped in a backdoor goal to open up the scoring in the first period.
The Panthers caught Bruins defenseman Nick Holden napping later in the first period as Evgenii Dadonov hooked up with Nick Bjugstad on a goal at the far post after big Bjugstad beat Holden in a foot race to the net. The Panthers extended that lead in the second period after an iffy goalie interference penalty call on Rick Nash gave Florida a power play, and Trocheck finished things off with a sniper shot to the top corner of the net.
Down by three goals in the third period, there was no thrilling and death-defying comeback this time around. Instead it was James Reimer that enjoyed a strong night stopping all 46 shots that he faced while playing one of his best games of the season against the Black and Gold.