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game recap

Panthers regain Atlantic lead

Florida moves into first; Bruins lose fifth straight

by Matt Kalman / Correspondent

Jokinen's great deflection

FLA@BOS: Jokinen tips in the puck top-shelf for goal

3/24/16: Jussi Jokinen tips the feed from Dmitry Kulikoy top-shelf for his 16th goal of the season, extending the Panthers' lead

  • 00:55 •

BOSTON -- Linemates Reilly Smith, Vincent Trocheck and Jussi Jokinen each scored and Roberto Luongo made 34 saves and the Florida Panthers moved back into first place in the Atlantic Division with a 4-1 win against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on Thursday.

Trocheck and Jokinen each had an assist and Jonathan Huberdeau scored into an empty net for the Panthers (41-24-9), who have 91 points and moved two points ahead of the idle Tampa Bay Lightning. The Panthers conclude their three-game road trip at the Lightning on Saturday in a battle for first place between the two Florida-based teams.

"It's nice to have that rivalry, that both teams are competitive right now and jockeying for position," Luongo said. "We're going to enjoy tonight. Tomorrow we're going to refocus and get ready."

Florida, which won for the first time in three games, ended a nine-game losing streak in Boston with its first win here since Dec. 8, 2011. Smith's even-strength goal at 13:51 of the second period and Trocheck's shorthanded goal at 18:46 put the Panthers ahead after the Bruins scored first.

Video: FLA@BOS: Trocheck rips in a shorthanded goal

"Yeah, it was good. They scored the first goal and you don't really know," Smith said. "It was nice to see us bounce back and be able to get two points tonight and kind of keep our foot on the pedal."

Ryan Spooner scored and Tuukka Rask made 32 saves for the Bruins (39-28-8), who have lost a season-high five in a row and have six goals over that span.

The Bruins' lead for third place in the division is down to one point after the Detroit Red Wings defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 on Thursday.

"You worry about the next game, that's what you do," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "Right now we're not worrying about anything else. Panicking will certainly not help the situation, and again, we're still in that playoff position. I keep saying we're in control of our own destiny, so you know if you panic you're not going to gain what you want to gain."

Video: FLA@BOS: Luongo snatches redirection for great save

The Bruins outshot the Panthers 15-5 in the first period but neither team scored. Luongo got some help from defenseman Steven Kampfer, who kept a rebound of a Matt Beleskey shot from crossing the goal line by batting the puck away with his left glove at 5:14. Video review upheld the ruling that the puck did not cross the goal line.

Of Rask's five saves in the period, his best was a right-arm stop on a one-timer by Trocheck at 14:46. Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara made sure the rebound didn't enter the net by batting it out of the air. Chara received a penalty for delay of game, but the Bruins killed it.

Spooner put the Bruins ahead 1-0 with a wrist shot from the top of the right circle past Luongo at 7:42 of the second period.

Florida turned a 3-on-2 into the game-tying goal. After Trocheck was stopped by Rask's right pad, Smith tied the score 1-1 on the rebound.

Video: FLA@BOS: Spooner opens scoring with snipe in the 2nd

Trocheck put the Panthers ahead shorthanded. After David Krejci tried to pass the puck through traffic in the Florida zone, Trocheck skated end to end with the loose pick and then beat Rask high to the glove side for a 2-1 lead.

Trocheck has a goal in three straight games and four of the past five.

Luongo preserved the lead with 12.7 seconds left before the second intermission with a glove save of Jimmy Hayes' batted shot out of the air from the top of the crease.

Boston thought it tied the score when Patrice Bergeron shot a rebound between Luongo and the left post at 8:03 of the third period. Video review, however, upheld the no-goal call on the ice because there was no conclusive evidence the puck crossed the goal line.

Video: FLA@BOS: Kampfer backs up Luongo to save a goal

"It happened fast, so I wasn't 100 percent sure that the puck completely passed the line," Bergeron said. "But I mean, I think we all saw the replay. But at the same time they have rules that were there and I guess they went by it."

Jokinen extended the Panthers' lead to 3-1 with a redirect of a Dmitry Kulikov shot at 10:56.

Huberdeau scored an empty-net goal with 20.9 seconds left.

The Bruins played the third period without defenseman John-Michael Liles, who was injured in a collision with Garret Wilson late in the second.

Prior to the game the Bruins held a ceremony to honor Julien, who set the franchise record for wins with his 388th victory on March 7 against the Panthers.

Video: Panthers surge past Bruins in 4-1 win

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