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Bitz scores twice as Bruins topple Panthers

Feb 25, 2009 - 4:12 AM
BOSTON (Ticker) -- The Boston Bruins put the brakes on a skid, thanks to a pair of their role players.

Rookie Byron Bitz scored two goals and Michael Ryder recorded a goal and an assist in his return from a seven-game absence as the Bruins toppled the Florida Panthers, 6-1, on Tuesday.

Patrice Bergeron and defensemen Aaron Ward and Mark Stuart netted goals while Stephane Yelle and All-Star Marc Savard notched two assists apiece for Boston, which had dropped six of its last seven contests.

"We have had our issues in the past with protecting a lead, so it was important for us to come out and play our best period of the game," Bruins coach Claude Julien said.

Kamil Kreps scored the lone goal and Craig Anderson stopped 33 shots for the Panthers, who blanked Boston, 2-0, on Saturday.

"It wasn't pretty, it was ugly," Florida coach Peter DeBoer said. "I didn't think it was as bad as the score indicated. I thought we spotted them two goals, which we can't do to anybody, especially the best team in league. I thought we got our legs and battled a little bit.

"At the end of the first I thought we had a chance, they came out and capitalized on their opportunities. I thought they played a smart game and we started to push. Against a team like that, when you try to open up, you're going to give something up and they capitalized."

Kreps was a bit more blunt about his team's third loss in five contests.

"It was one of those nights when nothing was going in for us and everything went in for them," Kreps said.

Bergeron opened the scoring 48 seconds into the first period and Stuart registered his career-high fifth goal of the season 5 1/2 minutes later by lifting a backhander over Anderson while stationed on the doorstep.

"I thought it was just about working harder; we got outworked and we know that Florida is a team that never stops," Bergeron said. "They are battling for a playoff spot and we went back to what was giving us success, which is sticking to the system and don't force too many plays. When it is there, just take it."

Kreps beat All-Star Tim Thomas with a wrist shot with 6:24 remaining in the session, but Bitz restored the two-goal bulge with 4:07 left in the second by tipping in Yelle's initial shot.

"I was trying to tip it up because if you tip it on net the way goalies play, they try to take away the bottom part of the net on something like that," Bitz said. "So I knew if I was able to redirect it up, it might have a chance."

Bitz struck again at 3:24 of the third to secure his first multi-goal effort of his career and Ward gave Boston a 5-1 lead 2:22 later.

"He got rewarded for doing some of the things that we have been preaching for the last little while," Julien said. "He is a guy that with confidence and experience you are going to score more goals and he demonstrated a little bit of that tonight."

Ryder capped the offensive outburst at 9:31 of the session, wristing the puck past Anderson in front of the crease for a power-play tally. The 28-year-old had missed nearly three weeks with facial fractures.

"I didn't think about it too much," Ryder said. "I just wanted to make sure I got my legs and get into the game that way, I knew it might be a little sluggish at first."

Thomas made 24 saves for the Bruins, who improved to 20-4-4 at home this season.

"It was very nice to have that good first step forward, but if you just sit on your heels, it does not make a difference," Thomas said. "The Bergeron goal does not make a difference, it is how you follow up and then feed off of it."






  • 20
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Panthers 1, Bruins 6  FinalFeb 25 1:59 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 1 0 0 1
    BOSTON 2 1 3 6 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BOS - PATRICE BERGERON 6 (UNASSISTED) 0:48
    BOS - MARK STUART 5 (MICHAEL RYDER, BLAKE WHEELER) 6:17
    FLA - KAMIL KREPS 2 (NICK TARNASKY, ANTHONY STEWART) 13:34
    2ND PRD: BOS - BYRON BITZ 2 (STEPHANE YELLE, SHAWN THORNTON

    Feb 24 9:28 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 1
    BOSTON 6
    3RD PRD: BOS - (PP) MICHAEL RYDER 20 (P.J. AXELSSON, MARC SAVARD) 9:31

    Panthers 1, Bruins 6  3rd - 10:29Feb 24 9:08 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 1
    BOSTON 5
    3RD PRD: BOS - AARON WARD 2 (MARC SAVARD, MILAN LUCIC) 5:46

    Panthers 1, Bruins 5  3rd - 14:14Feb 24 9:00 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 1
    BOSTON 4
    3RD PRD: BOS - BYRON BITZ 3 (STEPHANE YELLE, DENNIS WIDEMAN) 3:24

    Panthers 1, Bruins 4  3rd - 16:36Feb 24 8:55 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 1 0 1
    BOSTON 2 1 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BOS - PATRICE BERGERON 6 (UNASSISTED) 0:48
    BOS - MARK STUART 5 (MICHAEL RYDER, BLAKE WHEELER) 6:17
    FLA - KAMIL KREPS 2 (NICK TARNASKY, ANTHONY STEWART) 13:34
    2ND PRD: BOS - BYRON BITZ 2 (STEPHANE YELLE, S

    Feb 24 8:31 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 1
    BOSTON 3
    2ND PRD: BOS - BYRON BITZ 2 (STEPHANE YELLE, SHAWN THORNTON) 15:53

    Panthers 1, Bruins 3  2nd - 4:07Feb 24 8:25 PM
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    jjuva13 Added 5 roots

    Panthers 1, Bruins 2  2nd - 14:30Feb 24 8:12 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 1 1
    BOSTON 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BOS - PATRICE BERGERON 6 (UNASSISTED) 0:48
    BOS - MARK STUART 5 (MICHAEL RYDER, BLAKE WHEELER) 6:17
    FLA - KAMIL KREPS 2 (NICK TARNASKY, ANTHONY STEWART) 13:34
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    ---

    Feb 24 7:42 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 1
    BOSTON 2
    1ST PRD: FLA - KAMIL KREPS 2 (NICK TARNASKY, ANTHONY STEWART) 13:34

    Panthers 1, Bruins 2  1st - 6:26Feb 24 7:30 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 0
    BOSTON 2
    1ST PRD: BOS - MARK STUART 5 (MICHAEL RYDER, BLAKE WHEELER) 6:17

    Panthers 0, Bruins 2  1st - 13:43Feb 24 7:18 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 0
    BOSTON 1
    1ST PRD: BOS - PATRICE BERGERON 6 (UNASSISTED) 0:48

    Panthers 0, Bruins 1  1st - 19:12Feb 24 7:09 PM
  • 5
    roots
    shopgirl Added 5 roots

    Panthers vs. BruinsFeb 24 7:21 AM