Panthers halt Bruins' win streak at 7
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Anton Lundell, Aleksander Barkov and Matthew Tkachuk scored in the second period as the Florida Panthers beat Boston 5-2 on Wednesday night, snapping the Bruins’ seven-game winning streak.
The Panthers took advantage of seven power-play chances by scoring three goals with the man-advantage, including two in the second period.
Sam Reinhart and Aaron Ekblad also scored for Florida. Spencer Knight, who spent two seasons at Boston College before joining the Panthers in 2021, made 37 saves.
“We needed some wins because we have been outshooting opponents and playing really well, we’re just not getting the wins,” Barkov said. “(Wednesday) we deserved to win. We played a solid game and now we just need to keep going. We know they are a really good team, and a good team for a reason. We played the best game we could play — but we can get better.”
Boston got goals from Charlie McAvoy and David Pastrnak. Jeremy Swayman made 26 saves.
Florida came into the game leading the NHL in total shots on goal and had been outshot in just three games before Boston took 15 shots on Knight in the opening period and ended the frame with a 39-29 advantage.
The Panthers took the lead on a power play goal from Reinhart 1:49 into the game on a give-and-go from Tkachuk.
Boston evened the score on McAvoy’s slap shot with a two-man power play advantage with 2:46 remaining in the first.
Florida ended up killing a four-minute penalty on Lundell at the start of the second — with Lundell giving his team the lead for good with his second goal of the season at 4:41 in the period.
The Panthers then added two more goals in the final four-plus minutes of the second to take a 4-1 lead into the third.
“We were better in the second and third period for sure,” Florida coach Paul Maurice said. “Boston is a dangerous team, playing with a lot of confidence. They have an awful lot of speed. We built during the game. Spencer Knight was really strong in the first period and gave you that good feeling from your goaltender and we really built off of that.”
Boston had a second 5-on-3 advantage in the third and again cashed in with a slap shot from the slot — this one coming from Pastrnak.
The Panthers, again, killed the remainder of the penalty and limited the damage.
With 3:54 remaining, Charlie Coyle scored, but the goal was immediately waved off due to Nick Foligno playing the puck with his hand.
With 2:10 left, Ekblad scored into the empty net.
This was the second seven-game winning streak of the season for Boston, with the first lasting from Oct. 20-Nov. 3; the second started Nov. 7 against Buffalo.
Florida entered on a three-game winless streak, with losses in four of its previous five games.
“We haven’t harped on it a lot, but (we have had problems with) turnovers and taking too many minor penalties,’’ Boston coach Jim Montgomery said. “I thought the first period was a really good period, and the second — until they scored the second goal — I thought we were carrying play again.”
NOTES: The Florida Panthers started last season with 11 consecutive home wins, tying the NHL record set by the Chicago Blackhawks in 1963. Boston, which returns home to face Carolina on Friday, has a chance to set the record as it has won its first 11 at home this season. … Boston forward Craig Smith played in his 800th NHL game on Wednesday night. Ekblad recorded his 100th NHL goal.
Bruins: Host Hurricanes on Friday afternoon.
Panthers: Host Blues on Saturday night.
AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
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