Bruins Topple the Panthers 2-1 in OT

by Malcolm Kelner 11/6/2014

The Boston Bruins defeated the Florida Panthers at home Tuesday, with a 2-1 victory in overtime.

The Bruins never led in the game until the very end but they wouldn’t have had it any other way, as they grinded out the victory in typical club fashion. After a scoreless first period, the Panthers got on the board first on Jussi Jokinen’s first goal of the year. But just three minutes and change after that, the Bruins answered right back, with the center Patrice Bergeron flicking in the equalizer.

The rest of regulation was largely free of any big scoring opportunities for either side, but Brad Marchand put an end to things midway through overtime, weaving his way through traffic and going top shelf past Florida’s goaltender Roberto Luongo.

While it was certainly an exciting finish and nice win for the Bruins, the biggest storyline may have been something entirely separate from the action of the game.

Left winger Shawn Thornton, who had spent the past seven years with the Bruins, was signed by the Panthers in free agency and was making his first return to the TD Garden. Thornton was an instrumental tough presence for the Bruins on and off the ice, as well as a supportive member of the community during his tenure in Boston, so naturally he was a fan favorite as well. During a timeout late in the first period, the Bruins played a video tribute to Thornton, which sent the fans into a frenzy.  As they gave Thornton a loud standing ovation, he acknowledged it with a wave.

When asked about the tribute in a post game press conference, Bruins head coach Claude Julien reminisced about Thornton’s contributions to the club.

“Everybody was happy to have him on our team,” Julien answered. “He’s been a real good soldier for us so I think the guys respect that and so do we as coaches”

Boston’s goalie Tuukka Rask echoed Julien’s positive words about Thornton after the game.

“It was kind of emotional there, seeing all those moments we spent together… We’ve been together my whole career… but it’s good to see the Bruins recognize him and the fans recognize him.”

With the victory, the Bruins improved to 8-6 on the season and will look to make it four straight victories when they take on the 4-7-1 Edmonton Oilers at home on Thursday.