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Panthers Maul Bruins 8-3

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

The Florida Panthers opened up their 2006-2007 season with a sell out crowd of 19,250 at the BankAtlantic Center with a team record eight goals in the season opener, while holding the Bruins to only three. New Panthers RW Todd Bertuzzi was the star of the game, tying a career high with 4 points on one goal and three assists.

Free agent acquisition Ruslan Salei added to the new Cat's points tally with two assists in the first period.

While new players started to steal the show, 20-year veteran C Joe Nieuwendyk scored his 560th and 561st goal, moving him past Guy Lafleur to 19th all time in scoring.

New Panther Alex Auld held strong in goal stopping 33 shots, continuing the streak of three season opening home wins.

Bryan Allen made his name known as a Panther too, by stirring up trouble with Bruins players late in the third period and finishing +1.

Captain Olli Jokinen and C Nathan Horton also each had a goal and an assist in the dominating win. With his first assist, Jokinen now has over 300 career points. D Mike Van Ryn also bounced back with a goal after being sidelined with a wrist injury at the end of preseason as well as wrist surgery earlier in the summer.

Special teams for the Panthers also was strong, taking advantage of the six chances Boston offered by capitalizing on four of them.

The Cats look to continue their strong play by traveling to and taking on division rival Atlanta tomorrow night at 7:30 at Philips Arena.

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