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NHL scores 2015: Bruins top Bolts again in shootout, Panthers keep pace

Three-on-three hockey got its time to shine on Thursday.

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Somewhat ironically, three NHL games played into a shootout on Thursday, the same night that we saw the best argument for a proposed change to regular season overtime yet.

The Tampa Bay Lightning managed to take the Bruins to overtime, and a series of penalties resulted in nearly two minutes of 3-on-3 hockey. The results were terrific. The play was true fire wagon hockey, an end-to-end affair with tremendous scoring chances and even more brilliant saves. It was truly a wonder that neither team scored before the game was forced into a shootout.

That should be the message sent from Thursday. Even though nobody did score, the possibility was obviously there. There's no chance the league will make a decision based on one game, and nor should they. But just imagining a full season with 3-on-3 hockey events sprinkled in is just tantalizing.

In the end, perhaps the strongest argument against the shootout was this inept attempt by Patrik Elias on Thursday.


Boston Bruins 3, Tampa Bay Lightning 2 (SO)

Pittsburgh Penguins 6, Edmonton Oilers 4

Dallas Stars 5, Carolina Hurricanes 3

Columbus Blue Jackets 3, Detroit Red Wings 1

Ottawa Senators 5, Montreal Canadiens 2

Florida Panthers 4, Winnipeg Jets 2

St. Louis Blues 1, Philadelphia Flyers 0 (SO)

Colorado Avalanche 2, New Jersey Devils 1 (SO)

Chicago Blackhawks 2, Arizona Coyotes 1

Los Angeles Kings 4, Vancouver Canucks 0

San Jose Sharks 2, Nashville Predators 0

3 things we learned

1. The Bruins have the Lightning's number.

Boston's hold over Tampa Bay is so powerful that it can end a four-game winning streak by one of the Eastern Conference's most dominant teams. It's clear the Bolts have no answer for the Bruins at this point, even if they manage to take them to a shootout. Boston has beaten the Lightning in ten consecutive games now.

2. Montreal needs to cut down on a bad habit.

The Habs have a bad habit (pun intended) of just tossing the puck to an area instead of trying to make the right crisp, calculated pass. This usually just happens when traversing the neutral zone or trying to exit their own zone. But apparently it's starting to creep into their offensive zone game. Just watch how this Senators goal unfolds.

Sometimes that method works, and you get a lucky bounce or player in the right spot to get an attack going. But more often than not, it either leads to a discombobulated attack or a goal going the other way. It's the kind of thing that kills teams in the playoffs, and Montreal had better hope they get it out of their system soon.

3. Florida keeps pace.

Florida's win over Winnipeg on Thursday had a major impact for a couple of reasons. First, it was a shot of confidence for the Panthers, who had lost 8-2 at the Jets' hands the last time they met in Winnipeg. And it was an important two points considering the Bruins are charging away, a full six points ahead of the Panthers for the final playoff spot. Florida has to be damn near perfect from now on to make it. This was a good start.

Impact Moment

Besides earning a huge two points, the Panthers made waves for scoring one of the season's best goals. Derek MacKenzie's diving, stick-first dive was just as unexpected as the goal that came from it.


Stat of the Night

If it feels like the Kings have been in the non-playoffs wilderness for a long time, it's because they have.

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