Final

Series (Game 4 of 4)

Florida leads 2-0

Game 1: Saturday, October 11th
Bruins1Final
OT
Panthers1
Game 2: Wednesday, December 10th
Bruins1Final
OT
Panthers1
Game 3: Saturday, January 24th
Panthers2Final
Bruins1
Game 4: Monday, February 23rd
Panthers2Final
Bruins0

Panthers 2

(22-25-3, 60 pts)

Bruins 0

(30-15-6, 78 pts)

7:00 PM ET, February 23, 2004

TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

1 2 3 T
FLA 0 1 12
BOS 0 0 00

R. Luongo (Panthers - G): Saves: 38, Save Pct.: 1.000

M. Van Ryn (Panthers - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

A. Lilja (Panthers - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Boston snaps 13-game point streak

BOSTON (AP) -- Roberto Luongo showed once again Monday night why many consider him the game's best young goaltender.

Luongo made 38 saves for his fifth shutout of the season, leading the Florida Panthers past the Bruins 2-0 Monday night for Boston's first regulation loss in 13 games.

Darcy Hordichuk and Andreas Lilja scored for Florida, 4-2-2-0 under new coach John Torchetti. The Panthers extended their unbeaten streak to four games.

"That was big for us as a team," said coach John Torchetti. "We'd like to get to [Boston's] level, but we're just taking it step-by-step."

Luongo was dominant from the opening faceoff until the final whistle en route to his 19th win of the season, one shy of a career high he set last season. In the second period, he stopped a slap shot by Martin Lapointe with his right skate, then dived across an empty net and used his right arm to stop Patrice Bergeron from just outside the crease.

Luongo, who ranks second in the NHL in save percentage despite a losing record, allowed just three goals in four games against the Bruins this season.

"He's like our sixth defenseman, and you know you can take extra chances," said Hordichuk of Luongo. "That's why he's been an All-Star. If guys don't think he's the real deal, he's proven them wrong."

Hordichuk opened the scoring early in the second period. Mathieu Biron took a wrist shot from just inside the blue line, and Hordichuk, screening Andrew Raycroft, deflected the puck into the net.

"I saw it coming at me, and then it went off a leg or a stick or something. I had no idea where it went," said Raycroft. "I was still looking for it when it was in the net for 10 seconds."

Lilja pushed Florida's lead to 2-0 midway in the third period. Niklas Hagman slipped the puck through a pair of Boston defenders and onto Lilja's stick, and Lilja beat Raycroft with a backhander.

Boston fell in regulation for the first time since a 2-1 home loss Jan. 24, also to the Panthers.

"We knew they always present challenges, and that's something we certainly addressed," Bruins coach Mike Sullivan said. "I don't think we played with as much energy as we have as of late, but I think we played hard."

Raycroft made 30 saves but lost for the second straight time head-to-head against Luongo, who downplayed his success against the Bruins this season.

"Sometimes you find yourself playing more comfortably against a team. This year, Boston's one of them," Luongo said.

Game notes


Florida finished 2-0-2 against the Bruins this season. ... Boston has been shut out seven times this season, with six at home, a franchise record. ... Heavy metal band Godsmack, which boasts Boston natives, performed acoustic sets after the second period and after the game.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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