The Boston Bruins visit South Florida only twice a season.
They might want to look into finding a semi-permanent residence in the tropics.
On Tuesday night, the Bruins worked their magic against the Panthers in Sunrise once more, winning their third consecutive game and 11th in 14 tries at BB&T Center with a 2-1 victory.
The Panthers, fresh off a 5-2 win in Detroit on Sunday, have dropped six of their past eight.
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“I think we’re confident of what we have in the locker room,” goalie Roberto Luongo said. “There’s a really fine line between winning and losing and sometimes little things make a difference. We need to keep coming to work, try to get better as a team and as individuals and those things will work their way out. That said, we need to have a sense of urgency from myself on out, realize we’re going to be in a dog fight every game.”
The Panthers had plenty of opportunities against Tuukka Rask and the Bruins, taking a 13-3 shot advantage in the opening period yet didn’t score until 19-year-old center Denis Malgin netted his first NHL goal with 4:35 remaining on the 29th shot of the night.
Florida was 0 for 7 with the extra skater, however, as its power play (ranked 19th in the league coming in, with goals in five of the previous six games) was ice cold save for a late flurry with two additional attackers as Luongo took a seat on the bench and left the net empty when Adam McQuaid was given an additional two minutes for his role in a fight with Shane Harper.
“It’s tough when you can’t converge on the power play, do the things we like,” defenseman Keith Yandle said. “We need to score. The way they play, they have big [defense], are strong in front of the net. It was tough to find the one we needed late. We were an inch or two away from getting one.”
The Panthers dictated the pace of play in the first period and sent 13 shots at Rask yet trailed 1-0 because of an early call that went against them.
Less than four minutes into the game, former Bruin Reilly Smith was whistled for hooking Brad Marchand on a breakaway.
Marchand found the back of the net — as he has on occasion against the Panthers — on the ensuing penalty shot, beating Luongo top shelf.
Marchand has 13 goals and 22 points in 25 games against the Panthers.
“I’m not worried [about the power play]. I need to be better,” said Luongo, who made 24 saves. “I need to make saves, you know, can’t let in deflating goals which change momentum of the game. The guys up front, I’m not worried about that. I need to make the save when it’s needed, give the guys a boost.”
After being held without a shot on goal after Marchand's goal (the final 16:07 of the first), Boston challenged Luongo early in the second.
On Florida’s third power play of the night, Boston extended its lead when Dominic Moore — now on his 10th NHL team, including the Panthers — rang a shot from the left circle that hit the front post so hard it rounded its way around the cage and out.
Although not initially called a goal, officials stopped play for a video review that showed the puck crossed the goal line before running back out onto the ice.
“I knew it; it hit the top of my pad so I felt it,” Luongo said. “I lost it for a second and I didn’t see it. But a guy can’t score on me from the angle, ever. I can’t let in that shot, ever.”
▪ Florida forward Jonathan Marchessault was named the NHL’s third star for the month of October on Tuesday.
Marchessault, 25, came into Tuesday’s game tied for the NHL lead with six goals and was tied for third with 11 points.
Colton Sceviour, who joined Marchessault in signing with the Panthers on July 1, came into Tuesday second on the Panthers in scoring.