After an emotion week in Boston which had the Bruins rescheduling two of their home games, the Black and Yellow pulled into a tie in the Northeast with division leading Montreal.
In the past two games which had become secondary to the overarching story of the Marathon Monday, the Bruins were 0-1-1 with a heartbreaking shoortout loss to Buffalo when they game was all but in hand in the final thirty seconds, and a whooping at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins who used Jerome Iginla against the B's after swiping him out from undernethe them.
The ship was righted this afternoon after a 3-0 shutout of the Panthers with Tuukka Rask in net. Today's game was the Jersey Off Our Back promotion for season ticket holders where players give their game worn sweaters to lucky season ticket holders who win a raffle. Instead, the season ticket holders got behind the movement to give the sweaters to the first responders of the bombing at the Marathon finish line.
Jaromir Jagr started the scoring for the Bruins just over three minutes into the game after strong puck pursuit in the offensive zone. The Panthers could not control the puck under the heavy stick work and pressure of the Kelly/Jagr/Soderberg line and Jaromir ended up with the puck on this blade after a few minutes of frenetic bouncing around. He roofed a wrister glove side on Markstrom and that was all the Bruins would need in front of Rask. Soderberg picked up his first NHL point on the secondary assist.
Dougie Hamilton tallied his 5th goal of the season on slapper from the blue line with 13:33 gone in the period. The reunited Merlot Line provided the energy pressure down low and Shawn Thornton worked th puck back to Hamilton who paused before firing a rocket through traffic that found the back of the net.
Brad Marchand added an empty netter at the end to seal the game and a portion of the top spot in the Northeast with four games left in the season.
Claude Julien seems content to keep the second line of Bergeron, Marchand and Seguin together while shuffling the first and third lines after the acquisitions of Jagr and Soderberg. Nathan Horton and Adam McQuaid were both injured scratches for the contest.
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