BOSTON (AP) — David Krejci scored three goals for the Boston Bruins in a 4-1 win over Florida on Tuesday night, hours after the Panthers made a series of deals to retool their lineup.
Jarome Iginla also scored for the Bruins, who kept former Boston goalie Tim Thomas busy all night with 39 shots on goal.
It was possibly Thomas’ last game for the Panthers, who earlier Tuesday picked up veteran Roberto Luongo from Vancouver. If Thomas agrees to waive his no-trade clause, the Panthers may not be done dealing before Wednesday afternoon’s trade deadline.
Thomas, who led Boston to the 2011 Stanley Cup by beating Luongo and Vancouver, showed why a contender may be interested in the 39-year-old, making 35 saves. He allowed three goals before Krejci scored in an empty net with 14 seconds left, and a few hats from the remaining fans fell to the ice.
Boston backup goalie Chad Johnson had a much quieter night, facing 24 shots as the Bruins beat Florida for the seventh straight time. Johnson had a shutout until Florida defenseman Brian Campbell lifted a high backhander from the blue line toward the net. The puck deflected off Boston defenseman Matt Bartkowski’s stick with 7:13 left.
The Bruins scored twice in the first period, then took a 3-0 lead on Krejci’s goal with 48 seconds left in the second. Kevan Miller fed a pass to the slot to Krejci, who stood all alone and had enough time to set up a wrist shot that beat Thomas on the stick side.
Thomas also had little chance on Krejci’s first goal after defenseman Tom Gilbert’s turnover next to the net. Krejci grabbed the puck, faked Thomas into going down and lifted a wrist shot in.
The Bruins scored again when Thomas allowed a long rebound off a shot by Jordan Caron and the puck bounced to Iginla at the opposite circle for a one-timer. Thomas skated to the Panthers bench and switched masks after starting the game with a nondescript black helmet with a cage.
Notes: Johnson has won six of his last seven starts, with the only loss coming in overtime at Buffalo last week. … The Bruins improved to 2-1-1 since the Olympic break. … Florida last beat Boston on March 15, 2012. … In addition to the Luongo deal, the Panthers also traded defenseman Mike Weaver to Montreal for a fifth-round draft choice in 2015, and signed forward Brad Boyes to a two-year contract extension.
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