Panthers offense inert offense as skid continues against Bruins
The Panthers, as has been their pattern lately, kept it close for much of the game, but they fell to the Bruins — their sixth consecutive loss.
04/22/2013 12:01 AM
03/16/2014 9:49 PM
The Panthers concluded their final real road trip of the year on Sunday afternoon and did so in a style fitting for this 2013 season.
As had been the case so many times before, the Panthers kept things close for much of the game but didn’t have the firepower to overtake the host Bruins and lost 3-0 at TD Garden.
Florida has lost six in a row — including all four games of this season-ending road trip.
The Panthers finish the season with a pair of home games before concluding things Saturday night in Tampa.
“There was enough try for us to be very competitive in this game,’’ said coach Kevin Dineen, whose team has been outscored 30-8 during the losing streak.
“We have to go home and keep pushing with some dignity and some pride.’’
The Panthers did more than their part in honoring Boston after this rough week as players came out for the pregame skate wearing baseball caps with the Boston police shield on them and played the game with 617 — the main Boston area code — decals on their helmets and skates.
Both teams came out sluggish after losing games on Saturday — and neither has been playing very well of late. The Bruins, who pulled into a tie with Montreal for second in the Eastern Conference, had lost five of seven.
Just 3:03 in, the Bruins were feeling pretty good about themselves as Jaromir Jagr scored soon after the Panthers turned the puck over deep in their zone to make it 1-0.
Jagr’s goal — only his second since joining the Bruins last month — was all Boston needed as Tuukka Rask made 28 saves to become sixth goalie to shut out the Panthers this season.
Florida had a couple of scoring chances but couldn’t solve Rask as he picked up his career-best fourth shutout of the season. Boston took a 2-0 lead in the second when Dougie Hamilton scored and then closed things out with Brad Marchand’s empty-net goal with 1:22 remaining.
Jacob Markstrom played well in the defeat, stopping 36 of 38 shots.
“Tuukka had a real strong game, made some big saves early,’’ Markstrom said.
“It’s tough. There are a lot of good goalies in this league, so we need to bear down when you get the chances.’’
Not only did the Panthers wear 617 decals, but they also wore “Boston Strong’’ T-shirts purchased for charity underneath their warmups as well as Boston Police baseball caps.
Florida’s trainers and equipment staff wore the Red Sox’s “B Strong’’ patches on the back of their jackets as well as the Boston Strong ribbon patch on the front. Coaches, front office staff and team broadcasters wore blue and yellow ribbons.
Backup goalie Scott Clemmensen, a Boston College graduate, wore a different baseball cap during each period representing the Massachusetts State Police, Boston’s District 4 and the Boston PD.
The Bruins had a postgame ceremony in which first responders were awarded jerseys from the game.
“We wanted to show our support here,’’ Clemmensen said.
“We got in [Saturday] afternoon and it was good to see people out and about after the week they had. The park by our hotel was pretty packed. It’s good to see the reaction.’’
Tomas Kopecky missed his first game of the season on Sunday as Scott Timmins was recalled from AHL San Antonio.
Kopecky, Dineen said, “just can’t play. He’s hurting there a little bit.’’
Kopecky could be back Tuesday.• Defenseman Erik Gudbranson missed his second consecutive game after hurting his hand/wrist in the final minute of Thursday’s loss to the Rangers.
“He skated [Sunday], will skate [Monday] and I’m hoping he’ll be ready Tuesday,’’ Dineen said.• Defenseman Dmitry Kulikov and Jagr got tangled up early in the third period, and Kulikov hit the ice hard and awkwardly. Kulikov was helped off the ice by trainer Dave Zenobi and didn’t return.
Dineen said Kulikov could miss the final three games.
“He won’t be available,’’ Dineen said, “probably for the rest of the season.’’
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