|Date of game: 1/28/2014
Recap: Boston vs. Florida
Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Panthers goaltender Tim Thomas' return to Boston did not go according to plan.
Thomas gave up six goals on 41 shots in Florida's 6-2 loss to the Bruins.
The 39-year-old Thomas played for Boston for eight seasons (2002-03 & 2005-12), leading the Bruins to the 2011 Stanley Cup while earning the Conn Smythe Trophy.
Tuesday marked Thomas' first game in Boston since his messy departure from the Bruins after the 2011-12 season. He played against Boston on Oct. 17, 2013, at BB&T Center, but was injured when the Panthers visited the Bruins a few weeks later.
"They're a good team," Thomas said. "They made the finals last year for a reason and they played a good game against us tonight combined with us not playing our best game, myself included, they took advantage of it and they just kept coming at us."
Milan Lucic had two goals for the Bruins, who have won four in a row. David Krejci, Zdeno Chara, Reilly Smith and Shawn Thornton also lit the lamp.
Tuukka Rask stopped 28-of-30 shots for the victors.
"Yeah, we score five, six goals a game, you kind of expect to win," Rask said. "I know it's not going to happen every game, but it's good to have that offense going like that. We've been scoring goals because we play our system, not because we're trying to do too much out there, and that's a great sign."
Brad Boyes and Dmitry Kulikov scored for the Panthers, who have dropped six straight against Boston.
Thomas' bad night started at the 7:41 mark of the first period. Lucic put home a rebound off Jarome Iginla's shot from the right circle.
Chara made it a 2-0 contest at 15:26 when his one-timer from the right point bounced off bodies in front and trickled past the goal line.
Lucic lit the lamp again at the 1:46 mark of the middle stanza. Thomas failed to control Matt Bartkowski's shot from the left point and Lucic poked in the rebound.
Boston went ahead by four at 14:54 when Smith completed a backdoor play off a pass from Carl Soderberg.
Florida finally got on the board with 33 seconds remaining. Boyes put one past Rask following a cross-ice pass from Nick Bjugstad.
The Panthers had gone 43 straight power plays without a goal before Kulikov finally got one early in the third period. His shot from the point beat Rask.
Thornton scored on a backhander at 8:14 to make it 5-2 Boston.
Krejci, who also had two assists, lit the lamp at 17:51 to account for the final margin.Game Notes
Florida has lost five in a row in Boston ... Boston forward Chris Kelly
returned to the lineup after missing 22 games with a broken right fibula ...
Prior to the game, the Panthers activated forward Tomas Kopecky from injured
reserve and placed forward Aleksander Barkov on injured reserve ... The
Bruins, who started a four-game homestand on Tuesday, improved to 20-5-2 at
home this season ... Panthers defenseman Tom Gilbert played in his 500th NHL