BOSTON (AP) _ The Florida Panthers rode the play of Roberto Luongo again.
Luongo made 43 saves, and the Panthers hung on for a 2-1 victory over the
Boston Bruins on Saturday night.
It was his second stellar effort in a week. The All-Star made a season-high
50 saves in a 2-1 victory over Tampa Bay last Saturday.
Luongo's strong game also included a save on P.J. Axlesson's penalty shot
with 6:32 to play in the third period. And he wasn't even sure he'd be starting
until late in the day.
``Right at the last minute I thought `I think Roberto's going to have a good
one here,''' Florida coach Rick Dudley said. ``I don't know why, I just did.''
It was the fourth time in three weeks that Luongo posted a 40-plus save
effort. He stopped 42 shots on Jan. 3 against Columbus and made 46 saves at
Philadelphia on Jan. 8.
``I saw pretty much every shot and that made my job a lot easier in that
regard,'' Luongo said.
Juraj Kolnik and Valeri Bure each scored a power-play goal for the Panthers.
Patrice Bergeron's 14th goal with 1:16 left helped Boston avoid a
club-record sixth shutout at home this season. The Bruins have been blanked
five times at home only twice in their 80-year history, in 1951 and '52.
It was just Boston's third loss in 12 games (8-3-1).
``We had as many chances to score tonight as we've generated all year,''
Boston coach Mike Sullivan said. ``Obviously, the puck didn't go into the net
for us. Luongo played extremely well for them and we couldn't seem to get it by
him. But it certainly wasn't for the lack of trying.''
The Panthers made it 1-0 when Kolnik grabbed a rebound in front and slipped
a backhander between Andrew Raycroft's pads.
Florida increased it the lead to two goals when Bure one-timed Olli
Jokinen's cross-ice pass by Raycroft from just inside the left circle.
Axelsson came in on his penalty shot and fired a wrist shot into Luongo's
midsection before the goaltender controlled it with his glove.
``I wanted to wait him out,'' Luongo said. ``I thought he was going to go
Boston's best chance of the first two periods came when Bergeron hit the
post early in the opening period.
The Bruins had a two-man advantage for 1:31 in the first period, but they
were held to just two shots on goal. The two-man edge turned into a five-on-two
for nearly 25 seconds when Florida center Stephen Weiss broke his stick, but
the Panthers held Boston without a shot.
Luongo was hit on his left shoulder by Jiri Slegr's slap shot early in the
third period and was stunned for a few minutes. He quickly recovered and stayed
in the game.