Panthers score 3 in 2nd period, stopping Bruins winning streak at 7

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Anton Lundell, Aleksander Barkov and Matthew Tkachuk scored in the second half as the Florida Panthers beat Boston 5-2 on Wednesday night, ending the Bruins’ seven-game winning streak.

The Panthers took seven power play chances by scoring three manpower goals, two of them 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 overtook opponents and played really well, we just don’t win,” said Barkov. “(Wednesday) we deserved to win. We played a solid game and now we just have to keep going. We know they are a really good team and with good reason. We played the best game we could play – but we can still do better.”

Boston scored goals from Charlie McAvoy and David Pastrnak. Jeremy Swayman made 26 saves.

Florida came into the game and led the NHL in total shots on goal and had been overshot in just three games before Boston fired 15 shots at Knight in the opening period and ended the frame with a 39-29 advantage.

The Panthers took the lead through a Reinhart power play goal. 1:49 into play after a give and go from Tkachuk.

Boston leveled the score on McAvoy’s slap shot with a two-man power play advantage, staying 2:46 in the first.

Florida ended a four-minute penalty on Lundell early in the second game – with Lundell finally giving his team the lead with his second goal of the season at 4:41 of the period.

The Panthers then added two more goals in the final four-plus minutes of game two to go 4-1 into game three.

“We were definitely better in the second and third periods,” said Florida coach Paul Maurice. “Boston are a dangerous side that play with a lot of confidence. You have an incredible amount of speed. We built during the game. Spencer Knight was really strong in the first half and gave you that good feeling from your goalkeeper and we really built on that.”

Boston had a second 5-on-3 advantage in the third and conceded again with a slap shot from the slot – that came from Pastrnak.

The Panthers again killed the rest of the penalty and limited the damage.

With 3:54 left, Charlie Coyle scored, but the goal was immediately flagged down because Nick Foligno handed the puck.

At 2:10, Ekblad hit the empty net.

This was the second seven-game winning streak of the season for Boston, with the first lasting from October 20 through November. 3; the second started on November 7 against Buffalo.

Florida started a three-game winning streak with losses in four of the previous five games.

“We didn’t play with it much, but[we had problems with]ball losses and too many small penalties,” said Boston coach Jim Montgomery. “I thought the first period was a really good period and the second – until they scored the second goal – thought we were going to play again.”

NOTES: The Florida Panthers started last season with 11 straight home wins, matching the NHL record set by the Chicago Blackhawks in 1963. Boston, who return home against Carolina on Friday, have a chance to set the record as they won their first 11 at home this season. … Boston forward Craig Smith played in his 800th NHL game Wednesday night. Ekblad scored his 100th NHL goal.

NEXT

Bruins: Host Hurricanes on Friday afternoon.

Panthers: Host Blues on Saturday night.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports



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