SUNRISE, Fla. – The Boston Bruins found a way to get a win without playing their best game.
Patrice Bergeron scored two goals and David Krejci scored the winner in the shootout and the Bruins beat the Florida Panthers 3-2 on Monday night.
Bergeron scored two goals for Boston, and Tuukka Rask stopped 38 shots.
Jason Garrison and Shawn Matthias scored goals for Florida, and Scott Clemmensen made 33 saves.
Bergeron also had a goal in the shootout for Boston, and Stephen Weiss had a shootout goal for Florida. Krejci came straight at Clemmensen and poked in the puck.
“I made up my mind to get a goal,” Krejci said. “I knew from the beginning what I was going to do and it worked today.”
The Bruins allowed four breakaways during the game, but only gave up a goal on one because of solid goaltending by Rask.
“Our battle was better tonight. But when you give a team four breakaways it gives you an idea of the sharpness of our game,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said.
“Definitely disappointed in that but when things are tough you have to find ways to win and I think our guys did a good enough job to battle and found a way to win and you take the wins for what they’re worth.”
Bergeron’s second goal of the game came during a two-man advantage and put the Bruins ahead 2-1.
Tyler Seguin shot from the slot and Bergeron deflected the puck under Clemmensen’s legs at 14:40 of the second.
“It was a hard-fought game,” Bergeron said. “They’re a very good team and they played hard and they were very hard on their forecheck. We seemed to find a way and that’s all that matters.”
The Panthers answered back just over a minute later. As Matthias was coming out of the penalty box, he took a pass from Tomas Kopecky. Matthias skated in free on Rask and his wrist shot trickled past him at 15:54.
“There was nothing you could do, the whole bench was yelling when the power play was ending. It’s always worse when you have more time to make that read,” Rask said.
“I usually don’t get beat on five hole, but it was a good shot. It kind of trickled through and it was right underneath my knee, a good spot for the shooter. I was a little mad it went through me but it happens.”
It was the only breakaway the Panthers scored on.
“It was nice to get a second breakaway,” Matthias said. “I kind of messed up on the first one, so when you get a second chance at it, another crack, it’s nice to score.”
Stephen Weiss got an assist on the goal, giving him the Panthers’ franchise record for assists with 232, passing Olli Jokinen.
The Panthers tied it 1-1 on Garrison’s goal at 8:28 of the second.
The Panthers brought the puck out from behind the net to Mike Weaver above the right circle. He passed across to Garrison above the left circle and his slap shot bounced off Boston’s Dennis Seidenberg and into the net. Garrison leads all NHL defencemen with 12 goals.
Boston took a 1-0 lead just 80 seconds in. Bergeron took a shot from above the high slot that got past Clemmensen on the stick side. It was the fourth straight game the Panthers gave up the first goal.
Notes: Boston C Rich Peverley will miss the team’s next two games after returning to Boston from Florida to attend to a personal matter. Peverley is expected to return for Thursday’s game at New Jersey. … Boston has won the past five games at Florida. … Florida D Ed Jovanovski left the game with an upper body injury in the first period and did not return. … Weiss has 367 points (135 goals, 232 assists) in his career. … Matthias set career highs with his eighth goal and 17th point of the season.