Florida at Boston

Red-hot Bruins catch up with Rangers for Eastern Conference lead

CBSSports.com wire reports

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins are right on schedule.

Marc Savard and Patrice Bergeron had a goal and an assist each to lead Boston to its eighth victory in nine games, a 4-2 decision over the Florida Panthers on Friday that moved the Bruins into a tie for the Eastern Conference lead.

"One of the things they preached at the start of the season was positioning," defenseman Aaron Ward said. "Teams that position themselves well by Thanksgiving have a tendency to really put themselves in good position at the end of the year."

The Bruins, 11-1-1 in their last 13 games and the winners of seven straight at home, matched the idle New York Rangers with 30 points in the conference race.

"I don't think we feel too good about ourselves," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "Our team has not had to face this kind of thing for a long time ... being in first place."

Phil Kessel and David Krejci added goals for Boston.

David Booth and Ville Peltonen scored for Florida, which ended a stretch of eight games in the last 10 on the road. The Panthers play the next three games at home.

"It's been a tough few weeks," Florida coach Peter DeBoer said. "A team like (Boston), they'll sting you. You make one mistake and it's in the net."

The victory was also only the second for the Bruins in their last nine home games against Florida. The Panthers are one of only two NHL teams -- Minnesota is the other -- with winning records against the Bruins in Boston.

Savard, who has two goals and nine assists during a five-game points streak and three goals and 15 assists in the last 17 games, sent Kessel in on a breakaway to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead just 2:46 of the first period. Kessel has goals in each of the last three games and three goals and three assists during a five-game points streak. He is the first Bruin to 10 goals this season.

After Booth tied it, Bergeron tipped Matt Hunwick's shot past Tomas Vokoun for his first goal in eight games. David Krejci and Savard scored in the second period as the Bruins peppered Vokoun with 35 shots in the first 40 minutes.

"You can't spot a team like that a couple of goals," Vokoun said.

Bruins goalie Tim Thomas made 30 saves to improve to 5-0-1 in his last six games.

Ville Peltonen scored his first goal of the season late to make it closer.

Booth's goal came on a breakaway and was first ruled no goal, even though it appeared to be in. A review confirmed Booth's sixth goal in the last nine games.

The Bruins, who haven't lost in regulation this month, are one game from matching their longest home winning streak since Nov. 2-29, 2002. They will face the New York Islanders on Nov. 29 after two straight road games.


  • Bruins left wing Marco Sturm missed his second straight game because of an upper-body injury and is day-to-day. Boston defenseman Matt Lashoff, recalled earlier in the week, was a healthy scratch.
  • Friday night marked the Bruins' first Friday night home game since Dec. 23, 1977 and was also Slapshot Night, honoring the movie. Hanson brother Steve Carlson was on hand and fans received Hanson glasses.
  • The Bruins are in the midst of a stretch of 10 games in 18 nights and are in Montreal Saturday night, their fourth game in six nights this week.
  • The Panthers concluded a stretch of eight road games in their last 10. They lost 3-1 in New Jersey on Thursday night.
  • Panthers defenseman Bryan McCabe had two assists and has three goals and five assists in a six-game points streak.
  • Florida scratched defenseman Jesse Cullimore (right knee) and left wing Rostislav Olesz (healthy).
Copyright 2017 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.
Facial cuts and bruises mean nothing to Nick Boynton, who takes on Boston's toughest guy, Milan Lucic. (AP)
Facial cuts and bruises mean nothing to Nick Boynton, who takes on Boston's toughest guy, Milan Lucic. (AP)
Florida (7-11-1)1012
Boston  (13-3-4) «2204
Three Stars
M. Savard

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
P. Bergeron

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
P. Kessel

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0

Related Video

Scoring Summary
02:46Phil Kessel (10), Wrist Shot. Assist: Savard, Wideman
08:01David Booth (9), Wrist Shot. Assist: Horton, McCabe
10:02Patrice Bergeron (4), Slap Shot. Assist: Hunwick, Ryder
07:43David Krejci (5), Backhand Shot. Assist: Kobasew
09:26Power Play - Marc Savard (8), Snap Shot. Assist: Bergeron, Axelsson
16:54Ville Peltonen (1), Backhand Shot. Assist: Bouwmeester, McCabe
Penalty Summary
11:00Savard, 2 min, Tripping
15:15Zednik, 2 min, Slashing
01:36Chara, 2 min, Holding
04:01Hunwick, 2 min, Holding
08:36Frolik, 4 min, High-Sticking
11:42Lucic, 5 min, Fighting
11:42Boynton, 5 min, Fighting
17:18Ward, 2 min, Roughing
17:18Ballard, 2 min, Roughing
17:18Ward, 2 min, Roughing
Shots On Goal
Tomas Vokoun57:54354
Tim Thomas60:00302
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Game Information
Attendance - 16878
Referees - Paul Devorski, Ian Walsh
Linesmen - Brian Murphy, Derek Nansen
Other Games
Phi 3 Final
Buf 0
Nash 1 Final
TB 4
NYI 2 Final
NJ 5
Pho 2 Final
Car 5
Ana 2 Final
StL 3