Panthers stumped by Tuukka Rask in shutout loss to Bruins
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Tuukka Rask and the Boston Bruins are on quite a run against the Florida Panthers.
Rask had 25 saves, Brad Marchand scored two goals and the Bruins beat the Panthers 4-0 on Saturday night.
Riley Nash and David Backes also scored, helping Boston improve to 4-0 against Florida this season. Rask got his fifth shutout of the season.
Rask is 19-3-1 against the Panthers with four shutouts.
“I like Florida. It’s warm and sunny here,” Rask said when asked about his success against the Panthers. “I don’t know. No particular reason, I don’t think. We’ve played some good games against them throughout the years.”
For some of the Panthers, the answer is simple.
“He’s a great goalie. He’s had our number for a while,” defenseman Aaron Ekblad said.
Florida’s James Reimer made 33 saves in his fourth straight start. Roberto Luongo, who missed Friday’s 2-1 victory against Nashville with an upper-body injury, is day to day.
Marchand’s second goal made it 3-0 at 9:40 of the second. Torey Krug’s power-play shot from the high slot was blocked, but Marchand swept in the rebound.
Marchand, who leads Boston with 12 goals and 34 points, also had a short-handed goal at 12:48 of the first. He grabbed the puck from Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle, skated in, and backhanded the puck between Reimer’s glove and the post.
“A couple of fortunate bounces. Nice to get them,” Marchand said.
The Bruins went ahead 2-0 when Backes tipped in a shot from David Krejci at 4:13 of the second. Backes missed the previous three games with a concussion.
Boston had lost two in a row.
“We’ve had some tough nights where we’ve worked hard and we haven’t got the results,” coach Claude Julien said. “This is one of the few games that we’ve been able to extend a lead and get ourselves a win that we feel much better about.”
Nash poked in the puck off Reimer’s body and into the net at 4:59 of the third.
The Panthers have lost six of their last eight games.
“At 2-0 the game is not over, at 3-0 the game is not over,” said Jonathan Marchessault, Florida’s leading scorer. “We just stopped working. It started on October 13th. Our consistency is terrible. It’s the same thing tonight.”
The injury-riddled Panthers took another hit when forward Greg McKegg left in the second period with an upper-body injury.
“We’ve got an awfully large list of injured guys out,” Panthers interim coach Tom Rowe said. “We ask our guys to give it everything they can and they have and they will continue to do that. Tonight was one of those nights playing a real good team with a full lineup and a structured system.”
Florida C Nick Bjugstad will miss two weeks with a lower-body injury. … Ekblad played in his 200th NHL game. … The Panthers recalled goaltender Sam Brittain from the Manchester Monarchs of the ECHL to back up Reimer. … The Bruins recalled Zane McIntyre from Providence of the AHL to back up Rask. McIntyre has played in three games this season (0-2-0).
Bruins: Visit Carolina on Sunday.
Panthers: Visit New Jersey on Monday.