SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - The Boston Bruins finally solved Roberto Luongo. And they did it without All-Star center Joe Thornton.
The Bruins, who were held to three goals in four games by Luongo in 2003-04, matched that total in just over a period in knocking out Luongo on the way to a 5-2 victory Thursday night.
``He's one of the best, no question,'' said Bruins forward Glen Murray, who had a goal and two assists. ``To force him out is pretty good. Maybe he had an off night.''
Patrice Bergeron replaced Thornton, who stayed in Boston for treatment on his ailing back, between Murray and Sergei Samsonov on Boston's top line. He responded with a goal and an assist.
``I didn't want to replace Joe because you can't replace him,'' Bergeron said. ``They just gave me confidence. I tried not to think too much on the ice. I'm happy playing with those guys.''
Luongo, the NHL s defensive player of the week, was pulled after Bergeron's goal made it 3-0 at 5:26 of the second period.
Murray and Tom Fitzgerald scored in the first period against Luongo.
``I'd like to have the first one back,'' said Luongo, who had allowed only three goals in his first four games. ``The last two goals were kind of freaky goals, but what are you going to do? There's nothing to be ashamed about for me.''
Brad Isbister also scored for the Bruins, who have won three straight since losing their first two games of the season. P.J. Axelsson added an empty-net goal in the final minute.
Andrew Raycroft made 33 saves for the Bruins.
Nathan Horton and Juraj Kolnik scored for the Panthers, who have gotten more than two goals only once this season - Monday's 3-1 victory over the New York Islanders, which included an empty-netter.
The Panthers seemed to come to life after Luongo was pulled, outshooting Boston 13-3 the rest of the second period and cutting Boston's lead to 3-2.
``I told Roberto it wasn't because of his play, I was trying to change the momentum,'' Florida coach Jacques Martin said. ``And I think we did that.''
Isbister scored an insurance goal when he put a rebound over Jamie McLennan at 11:34 of the third period. McLennan stopped nine of 10 shots after replacing Luongo.
Murray's power-play goal gave Boston a 1-0 lead 4:53 in. Bergeron made it 3-0 when he put in his own rebound after Luongo made a sprawling save on his wraparound attempt.
``He's a kid who sees the game, knows the game and he really picks up on things really quickly,'' Murray said of Bergeron. ``You can't say enough about him. He's well beyond 20 years old.''
Horton scored Florida's first goal when he one-timed a shot from the slot off the far post. Kolnik then grabbed a loose puck after a shot by Martin Gelinas was blocked and fired a wrist shot to the short side with Raycroft out of position.
``The way the games are going, a two- or three-goal lead just isn't enough anymore,'' Bruins coach Mike Sullivan said. ``That's a lesson we should heed coming out of this game.''
Notes: There were two fights in the first 3:12 of the game, with Boston's Colton Orr squaring off with Eric Cairns, and Boston's Patrick Leahy going against Chris Gratton. ... Florida played without F Gary Roberts (groin). ... Boston has scored 18 goals in its three victories after managing only one in each of the first two games. ... The Panthers failed in their attempt to start 4-1 for the first time since 1995-96, when they made their only trip to the Stanley Cup finals. ... C Dave Scatchard made his Boston debut after missing the first four games with a groin injury.