It was a game of missed opportunities and a night of frustration as the Bruins dropped their second in a row, this time losing to the Florida Panthers 2-0, behind 40 saves from Jose Theodore who is now 9-0 against the Bruins since the lockout.
The Bruins had many chances to put the puck in the net, but failed to capitalize. Too many misses on open nets and multiple post shots left Shawn Thornton and the Bruins frustrated.
“Yeah and they didn’t go in tonight. Started with us, we had a wide open net and couldn’t bury it too, so we got to bear down there. It’s frustrating a little bit but once again, I think we had a chance to win so I guess we’ll think about it ’til midnight and move on” said Thornton.
By no means did the Bruins play a bad game, obviously the chances were there, but luck was not on their side, and neither was Theodore. With a little luck from his metal buddies behind him, Theodore was perfect as he came up with big save after big save helping his team leap frog the Bruins in the Eastern Conference standings.
“Actually I didn’t feel too fresh, energy level was a little low, but it’s just one of these games where I was seeing the puck well” Theodore said. “And I knew right away that it was going to be tough for them to score goals. When I feel like I’m on top of my game I know I’m tough to beat. And tonight we just played well, stuck with the game plan, didn’t panic, got away with the win.”
As play dwindled down late in the third of a scoreless game, things surely look destined for overtime that was until a breakdown in the Bruins zone gave the Panthers a goal with just under two minutes left in regulation.
Shawn Matthias raced down the left wing and sent a puck towards Tim Thomas’ direction. Thomas made the initial save but left the rebound in open space, defensemen Joe Corvo fanned on the clearing attempt and Tomas Kopecky was there on the doorstop to do what the Bruins failed to do all night—put the puck in the open net.
“I mean the guy came down the wing and took the shot. The rebound kind of stuck there. I thought it was going to come off my pad a little harder on that. Sometimes it doesn’t” said Thomas who made 28 saves in the loss. “But I believe on my first push to get over there my foot slipped, I thought my D was going to clear it so I relaxed but then I realized he missed it and I didn’t have time to get back over before [Tomas] Kopecky got a stick on it.”
Kris Versteeg would hit the empty net ending any chances of the Bruins coming back in this one.
Daniel Pallie took an awkward, but clean hit from a Panther on his first shift and never returned to the game. Some are left to believe Pallie suffered a concussion, but the Bruins will wait for further details.
“Not a concrete update, just that, as you know, he got dinged pretty good there, and our doctors felt that it was safer to not let him return and examine him a little bit further. He wasn’t well enough to come back” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “It was a clean hit. I think it was just how he ended up going down, I guess, or whether it looked like there was almost helmet-to-helmet collision there in slow-motion. Like I said, we’ll see what comes out of that.”
The Bruins will look to end their current two-game-losing-streak when they travel to Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets tomorrow night.