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Captain Clutch Strikes Again

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

Jokinen Scores Lone Shootout Goal in Panthers 4-3 Win in Boston

Olli Jokinen scored in a shootout and Roberto Luongo stopped all three Boston attempts in the tiebreaker in the Florida Panthers' 4-3 victory over the fading Boston Bruins on Monday night.

Seemingly out of the Eastern Conference playoff picture a few weeks ago, the Panthers have won six straight and are 9-1-1 in their last 11 to move six points behind seventh-place New Jersey and Montreal. The top eight will make the playoffs.

Jozef Stumpel, Jay Bouwmeester and Gary Roberts scored for Florida in regulation, and Patrice Bergeron had two goals and Brad Boyes also scored for Boston.

Roberts tipped in Jokinen's shot from the point for a tiebreaking power-play goal with 8:25 left in the third period, but Bergeron scored his second of the game with 43 seconds to play to send it to overtime.

In the shootout, Jokinen, the third shooter, shot the puck into Tim Thomas' body. The goalie appeared to make the save, but the puck trickled into the net as he fell to the ice.

Luongo then made a left pad save on Brad Boyes, and pumped his stick with delight as he skated toward the bench. The Panthers, winners in overtime four times in their last six games, improved to 4-4 in shootouts. Boston fell to an NHL-worst 1-8 overall and 1-6 at the TD Banknorth Garden.

After defenseman Hal Gill was whistled for hooking with 8:48 to play in regulation, it didn't take long for the Panthers to convert. Roberts, near the edge of the right circle, batted Jokinen's shot and the puck dipped into the net to make it 3-2.

With the Bruins already on a power play, they pulled Thomas with 67 seconds left for another skater before Bergeron tied it off the rebound of Glen Murray's shot that caromed off the back boards.

Trailing 1-0 after one, the Panthers tied it on Stumpel's power-play goal 6:17 into the second. Roberts centered a pass from the side of the net to Stumpel positioned at the bottom of the right circle, and Stumpel one-timed a shot inside the left post.

Boston regained the lead when Bergeron scored off the rebound of his own shot from in close for his 25th of the season at 11:45. Brad Isbister nearly gave Boston a 3-1 edge, but Luongo made a blocker save on a clean breakaway nearly 6 minutes later.

The Panthers tied it on Bouwmeester's goal with 42 seconds to play in the period. He fired a shot from the point that bounced into the net off the leg of Gill.

The Bruins had moved ahead 1-0 when Boyes tipped in Nick Boynton's shot from the point 13:24 into the opening period.

Notes: It was Roberts' 100th career power-play goal. ... The Panthers will play three of their next four games on the road. ... Stumpel, who didn't score a goal and had just four assists in his first 24 games, has four goals in his past four games and 48 points (15 goals) since Dec. 1. ... Bergeron has 13 points (nine goals) in his last eight games. ... It was Boston's second game since firing general manager Mike O'Connell on Saturday before the team's 5-4 win over Buffalo.

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