Bruins’ Krejci scores three goals in 4-1 win over Panthers

Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard, a former University of Maine star, makes a save during the first period against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., Tuesday night. The Devils won 4-3.
Ed Mulholland | USA Today Sports
Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard, a former University of Maine star, makes a save during the first period against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., Tuesday night. The Devils won 4-3.
Posted March 04, 2014, at 9:56 p.m.
Last modified March 04, 2014, at 10:15 p.m.

BOSTON — Boston’s David Krejci recorded his third career hat trick and Chad Johnson remained undefeated at home as the Bruins skated to their seventh consecutive victory over the Florida Panthers, 4-1 Tuesday night at TD Garden.

Jarome Iginla tallied for the second straight game and added an assist for the Bruins, who have won two in a row after dropping a pair following the Olympic break (2-1-1). Johnson turned aside 23 shots to improve to 7-0-0 at TD Garden.

Defenseman Brian Campbell scored and former Bruin Tim Thomas finished with 35 saves for the Panthers, who acquired fellow goaltender Roberto Luongo and forward Steve Anthony from Vancouver earlier in the day for netminder Jacob Markstrom and forward Shawn Matthias.

Boston got the early jump as Krejci deflected Florida defenseman Tom Gilbert’s ill-advised pass from behind his own net before deking Thomas to the ice for an easy goal at 7:29 of the first period. The Bruins doubled the advantage 3 1/2 minutes later as Jordan Caron’s blast from the left circle caromed off the mask of Thomas and right to Iginla, who blasted the puck from the right faceoff dot into the net.

Krejci scored with 48 seconds left in the second period, beating Thomas under the crossbar from the high slot. Campbell put Florida on the scoreboard with 7:13 remaining as his backhanded bid was inadvertently deflected into the net by defenseman Matt Bartkowski, but Krejci capped the hat trick with an empty-net tally.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Boston RW Loui Eriksson sat out with what coach Claude Julien described as a “minor issue.” Caron played in his place and notched an assist in his first appearance since Jan. 27. … Florida sent D Mike Weaver to Montreal for a fifth-round pick in the 2015 NHL draft. Weaver notched six assists in 55 games this season. … Panthers RW Krys Barch flexed his muscle by fighting Bruins LW Milan Lucic in the first period before tangling with RW Shawn Thornton in the second.

Devils 4, Red Wings 3

Stephen Gionta scored the game-winner with 36.6 seconds remaining as New Jersey rallied to beat visiting Detroit.

With the New Jersey net empty, Gionta redirected defenseman Mark Fayne’s point shot past a fooled Jimmy Howard as the Devils won for the third time in four games. Adam Henrique, defenseman Marek Zidlicky and Travis Zajac also scored while Martin Brodeur stopped 20 shots to preserve the win.

Johan Franzen, Brendan Smith and Todd Bertuzzi countered for Detroit, which fell for just the second time in six games. Howard turned aside 25 shots in defeat.

Henrique needed just 27 seconds to open the scoring, snagging a loose puck at the bottom of the right circle and sweeping it into the crease and past a falling Howard. Franzen drew the Red Wings even at 11:26, stripping New Jersey forward Dainius Zubrus before skating out from the left corner and firing a wrist shot that beat Brodeur from a sharp angle.

Smith gave Detroit its first lead 7:03 into the middle frame, gathering Justin Abdelkader’s pass in the slot and snapping a low shot past Brodeur. Goals from Zidlicky and Zajac — each with their 10th of the season — put New Jersey ahead with 13:30 remaining, but Bertuzzi evened things on a Detroit power play at 9:43 as Franzen’s shot hit him and caromed past a screened Brodeur.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Brodeur was given the start amid rumors it would be the last in a New Jersey uniform; a deal between the Devils and Minnesota had reportedly been agreed upon, but that was scuttled after the Wild acquired G Ilya Bryzgalov from Edmonton. … New Jersey entered the game with the league’s best penalty-killing unit (87.8 percent) but allowed two Detroit power-play goals on three chances. … Detroit went 3-2-0 on its five-game road trip and will return home to face Colorado on Thursday.

 

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