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Florida at Boston

Panthers score shutout to keep Bruins on edge in playoff race

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins ended the night the same way they came in, locked in a three-way tie for the last three spots in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Only one thing had changed: they had one fewer chance to figure things out and end their scoring slump.

Eastern Conference
SeedTeamGPPTSROW
1z-Pittsburgh487233
2y-Montreal486326
3y-Washington485724
4x-Boston486224
5x-Toronto485726
6x-N.Y. Rangers485622
7x-Ottawa485621
8x-N.Y. Islanders485520
Eliminated
9o-Winnipeg485122
10o-Philadelphia484922
11o-New Jersey484817
12o-Buffalo484814
13o-Carolina484218
14o-Tampa Bay484017
15o-Florida483612
Complete Playoff Race

"There's only five games left, so there are 10 points out there," Bruins forward Michael Ryder said after Boston lost 1-0 to the Florida Panthers and remained fighting with five teams for the last three spots in the playoffs. "It's hard to find wins right now. You do feel that the team that puts it together first is going to be there."

Scott Clemmensen stopped 36 shots for his fifth career shutout and Keith Ballard scored for Florida, which ended a four-game losing streak. The Bruins' loss left them tied with Montreal and Philadelphia in sixth, with Atlanta two points back in ninth and the New York Rangers another two points back in 10th.

At least two of those teams will miss the playoffs.

"We could have jumped ahead of Philly and Montreal and gone four ahead of Atlanta -- that's the disappointing part," Bruins forward Mark Recchi said. "For the most part, we controlled the game the whole game. That's obviously not good enough. We have to find ways to win these games."

The Flyers lost 6-4 to the New York Islanders, and Atlanta lost 2-1 at Washington. The Rangers and Canadiens were idle.

Florida is tied for 12th in the 14-team East and has only a remote chance of making the playoffs.

"We don't have a whole lot else to play for except upsetting some teams," Ballard said. "It was a big game for them. We are going to run into a few more of those in the last couple weeks here."

Ballard scored 7:15 into the game and the Bruins, who have scored 29 goals while winning just three of their last 17 home games, couldn't tie it despite controlling the puck much of the game. Boston attempted 86 shots, with 32 blocked by the defense and another 18 missing the net, to 30 for Florida.

"I got lucky on some saves. They are a little bit snake-bitten right now, and I kind of took advantage of that," said Clemmensen, who picked up his first shutout of the season. "Better late than never."

Clemmensen, who went to Boston College and played in the TD Garden in the Beanpot and Hockey East tournaments, shut out the Bruins for the second time.

"I have a special place in my heart for Boston," he said. "It's nice to look up and see BC as Beanpot champs and conference champs."

Ballard took a pass from Cory Stillman in the slot and put it past Tuukka Rask to end the goalie's shutout string of 121 minutes, 42 seconds, including an overtime shutout of the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.

"These kinds of games, with a team who's out of the playoffs, they come into our home building and we just can't win. It's frustrating," said Rask, who stopped 19 shots. "I hope it doesn't cost us too much at the end of the day."

Notes

  • Rask was selected the Seventh Player in an online vote of Bruins fans for going above and beyond the call of duty.
  • Bruins forward Shawn Thornton missed the game with an undisclosed injury.
  • Florida and Boston each have five games remaining.
  • It was Ballard's first career goal against the Bruins.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Scott Clemmensen gets a piece of the puck to preserve his shutout with a 36-save effort. (AP)
Scott Clemmensen gets a piece of the puck to preserve his shutout with a 36-save effort. (AP)
Scoreboard
Florida  (31-34-12) «1001
Boston (35-30-12)0000
Three Stars
S. Clemmensen
FLA


Saves: 36
Save Pct.: 1.000
D. Wideman
BOS


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 0
P. Bergeron
BOS


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 0
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
07:15Keith Ballard (7), Wrist Shot. Assist: Stillman, Garrison
2ND PERIOD
None
3RD PERIOD
None
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
None
2ND PERIOD
49.0Stillman, 2 min, Tripping
15:41Weiss, 2 min, Tripping
3RD PERIOD
03:44Marchand, 2 min, Hooking
12:32Dvorak, 2 min, Tripping
Shots On Goal
 123T
Florida810220
Boston1017936
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Scott Clemmensen59:54360
Tuukka Rask58:57191
Game Information
Attendance - 17565
Referees - Wes McCauley, Kelly Sutherland
Linesmen - Steve Barton, Andy McElman
 
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