for this game

Panthers rip struggling Bruins

Mar 16, 2012 - 4:41 AM Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - Marcel Goc, Stephen Weiss and John Madded tallied in the second period, as the Florida Panthers topped Boston, 6-2, in a battle of division leaders.

Mikael Samuelsson, Tomas Kopecky and Wojtek Wolski also scored for the Panthers, who extended their lead over idle Washington in the Southeast to three points and crept within two points of their Thursday foes for second place in the Eastern Conference.

"This was a big hockey game for us for sure. It was a big win and we have to keep it going, put this one behind us and focus on the next one," said Weiss.

Jose Theodore stopped 24-of-26 shots as Florida won its third straight.

Joe Corvo and Brian Rolston provided the offense for the Bruins, who remained just one point ahead of idle Ottawa in the Northeast thanks to their fourth straight defeat.

Tim Thomas was shelled for all six goals on 29 shots, his third loss in as many starts.

"This is "Twilight Zone"-ish," said Thomas. "I don't know what we did, but we did something to put luck not in our favor."

Goc provided a 2-0 edge for the hosts at the 38-second mark of the second when he redirected a Brian Campbell shot, but the Bruins hit the scoreboard at 4:53 when Corvo's left-point floater sailed through traffic and past Theodore.

Weiss then snaked his way to the front of the net and deposited a Tomas Fleischmann rebound by Thomas with 6:32 played to restore Florida's two-goal edge.

Madden added another goal -- his first of the year -- before the end of the stanza and the hosts led by three.

Rolston's power-play score at 1:44 of the third period made it a two-goal game once more, but Florida picked up a gift a short time later.

An errant clearing attempt from Bruins forward Chris Kelly along the left-wing boards instead crossed the slot and wound up on the stick of Kopecky, who beat Thomas with a fluttering shot inside the right post at 7:51.

Wolski capped the scoring with 2:36 left as he flipped in a Fleischmann pass from the left side of the crease.

Samuelsson's power-play score with 2:03 remaining in the opening period sent the Panthers to intermission with the lead.

Game Notes

Florida beat Boston at home for the first time since a 2-0 decision on February 21, 2009, a span of five meetings...The season series ended with both clubs winning twice, but the Bruins claimed a 13-10 edge in total goals...Madden's last goal came on March 17, 2011 at San Jose with Minnesota...Campbell finished with three assists.