Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 3/14/13
Game time: 7 p.m. ETTV: FOX Sports Florida The Boston Bruins have clearly played like one of the Eastern Conference's top teams, which is perhaps why their last result was so disappointing. A matchup at home Thursday night against the struggling Florida Panthers should provide Boston with a good opportunity to bounce back. The Bruins (17-4-3) won three in a row and nine of 11 prior to a 3-2 loss at Pittsburgh on Tuesday. With a 2-0 advantage going into the third period, they appeared set for a victory over another one of the league's elite teams, but threw it away with a series of defensive breakdowns. Boston had been 8-2-1 when entering the final period with a lead. "You hope that you can with a 2-0 lead going into the third, you hope you can get the job done," left wing Milan Lucic said. "We need to learn from this, giving up leads going into the third if we want to be an elite team." It was the second leg of only the third back-to-back games of the season for the Bruins, but players dismissed that as an excuse - especially considering they still have three back-to-back sets remaining. The next is this weekend with a home game against Washington before they get another crack at Pittsburgh on Sunday. "It's nothing that you can control, that's your schedule," center Patrice Bergeron, who recorded his team-leading 16th assist Tuesday, told the team's official website. "I hope it's not an excuse, because we're going to go through that a lot more the rest of the year." Before the back-to-back set over the weekend, the Bruins will face a Florida team that has the fewest points in the NHL and has dropped seven of nine in the series. The Panthers (7-14-7) are trying to end a four-game skid and have also lost seven of eight. Florida has been plagued by numerous issues, but poor goaltending has been the most significant. No team has given up more goals (101) and the Panthers have yielded at least three scores in 10 of their last 11 contests. That weakness was magnified in a 3-2 home loss to Tampa Bay on Tuesday, which came despite outshooting the Lightning 39-13, tied for the fifth-highest shot differential in franchise history. "That's the nature of the game sometimes," said right wing Jack Skille, who has one point in each of his last four games. "You've got to battle through it. We've got to grind it out." With Jose Theodore, the team's most veteran option in net, sidelined for three to five more weeks with a leg injury, the situation doesn't appear to have much promise moving forward. Jacob Markstrom has gotten the last five starts and struggled with a 3.41 goals-against average, and he's surrendered a goal in the game's first 2:35 in four straight. Scott Clemmensen hasn't looked much better with a 4.28 GAA over 11 games -- six starts -- this season. Goaltending hasn't been an issue for the Bruins, with Tuukka Rask's .927 save percentage ranking among the league leaders. Though he hasn't been announced as the starter for Thursday, Rask is 5-1-0 with a 0.98 GAA and two shutouts in six career starts against the Panthers. He turned aside 34 shots in a 4-1 win in Florida on Feb. 24. The Panthers have been anemic on the power play, going 0 for 14 over the last seven games. Breaking the slump could be difficult against the Bruins, who lead the NHL with a 92.6 penalty-kill percentage.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sanu: Halftime show played role in Super Bowl collapse

Report: Rams, Clippers discussing NBA venue in Inglewood

Terrence Jones reportedly interested in joining Celtics

LeBron reverses course, says he ‘always felt good’ about Cavs

Report: Ole Miss tried to implicate Mississippi State in football scandal

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jamaal Charles could be on the roster bubble

Jimmy Butler on state of Bulls: ‘I just want to win at all costs’

Report: Giants will be ‘aggressive’ in trying to sign Jason Pierre-Paul

Report: Porzingis avoided ligament damage in ankle

Brooks Koepka meltdown includes whiff, stomping head off driver

Report: 49ers could talk trade for QB at the NFL Scouting Combine

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker