OUTCOME: After a solid 1-0 overtime victory over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday, the Boston Bruins had another one of their lapses at home as they dropped a 1-0 decision to the lowly Florida Panthers on Thursday night at TD Garden. The Bruins had their chances, but they just couldn’t drive one home past Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen, who posted 36 saves. His teammates also blocked 32 shots en route to the win.
“You create chances to score, and you do all those things, and you more or less carry the play all night, but your inability to score is coming back to bite you again,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “You can have all the chances in the world, but you have to find a way to bury those.”
POSTSEASON OUTCOME: Even though the Bruins (82 points) lost, Philadelphia (82 points) and Atlanta (80) did as well, which means Boston still sits in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Four points separate the sixth through 10th spot in the East.
“It’s more frustrating than anything else,” said Julien. “We had an opportunity here to make room for ourselves and we didn’t. We can’t stand here and feel sorry for ourselves and say, ‘We tried our best and we couldn’t score.’ If we want to win hockey games, we have to score goals.”
NEWS AND NOTES: When Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference met with doctors earlier this week, he learned that not only did he have a tear in his groin, which caused a hernia, but he also tore the vein that is causing the injury to swell and fill with blood. He said he’s getting better and should be able to get back on the ice this weekend. He'll just have to deal with the injury until he can have surgery during the offseason. He has missed a total of 26 games this season.
*Rookie goaltender Tuukka Rask won the Bruins’ Seventh Player Award and was honored in a pregame ceremony. “He deserves it, it’s as simple as that,” said Julien.
*Bruins pugilist Shawn Thornton missed Thursday’s game with what the team is calling an upper-body injury. He participated in the morning skate, but was unavailable for the game against the Panthers. Julien said Thornton is day-to-day.
UP NEXT: The Bruins head out on the road for the next two games against the Maple Leafs on Saturday in Toronto and the Capitals on Monday in Washington. Only five games remain in the regular season. Boston will host the Buffalo Sabres on April 8 and the Carolina Hurricanes on April 10 before closing out the season in D.C. on April 11.