Bruins trounce Panthers behind Krejci hat trick

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[March 05, 2014]  BOSTON Bruins 4, Panthers 1: David Krejci recorded his third career hat trick and Chad Johnson remained undefeated at home as Boston skated to its seventh consecutive victory over Florida.

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 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 faceoff circle caromed off the mask of Thomas and right to Iginla, who blasted the puck into the net from the right faceoff dot.

Krejci scored with 48 seconds left in the middle period, beating Thomas under the crossbar from the high slot. Campbell got Florida on the scoreboard with 7:13 remaining as his backhanded bid inadvertently was deflected into the net by Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski, but Krejci completed 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 draft. Weaver notched six assists in 55 games this season. ... Panthers RW Krys Barch flexed his muscles by fighting Bruins LW Milan Lucic in the first period before tangling with RW Shawn Thornton in the second.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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