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Bruins stay hot as Bergeron helps cool Panthers

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- The Boston Bruins finally solved Roberto
Luongo. And they did it without All-Star center Joe Thornton.

The Bruins, who were held to three goals in four games by Luongo
in 2003-04, matched that total in just over a period in knocking
out Luongo on the way to a 5-2 victory Thursday night.

"He's one of the best, no question," said Bruins forward Glen
Murray, who had a goal and two assists. "To force him out is
pretty good. Maybe he had an off night."

Patrice Bergeron replaced Thornton, who stayed in Boston for
treatment on his ailing back, between Murray and Sergei Samsonov on
Boston's top line. He responded with a goal and an assist.

"I didn't want to replace Joe because you can't replace him,"
Bergeron said. "They just gave me confidence. I tried not to think
too much on the ice. I'm happy playing with those guys."

Luongo, the NHL s defensive player of the week, was pulled after
Bergeron's goal made it 3-0 at 5:26 of the second period.

Murray and Tom Fitzgerald scored in the first period against
Luongo.

"I'd like to have the first one back," said Luongo, who had
allowed only three goals in his first four games. "The last two
goals were kind of freaky goals, but what are you going to do?
There's nothing to be ashamed about for me."

Brad Isbister also scored for the Bruins, who have won three
straight since losing their first two games of the season. P.J.
Axelsson added an empty-net goal in the final minute.

Andrew Raycroft made 33 saves for the Bruins.

Nathan Horton and Juraj Kolnik scored for the Panthers, who have
gotten more than two goals only once this season -- Monday's 3-1
victory over the New York Islanders, which included an
empty-netter.

The Panthers seemed to come to life after Luongo was pulled,
outshooting Boston 13-3 the rest of the second period and cutting
Boston's lead to 3-2.

"I told Roberto it wasn't because of his play, I was trying to
change the momentum," Florida coach Jacques Martin said. "And I
think we did that."

Isbister scored an insurance goal when he put a rebound over
Jamie McLennan at 11:34 of the third period. McLennan stopped nine
of 10 shots after replacing Luongo.

Murray's power-play goal gave Boston a 1-0 lead 4:53 in.
Bergeron made it 3-0 when he put in his own rebound after Luongo
made a sprawling save on his wraparound attempt.

"He's a kid who sees the game, knows the game and he really
picks up on things really quickly," Murray said of Bergeron. "You
can't say enough about him. He's well beyond 20 years old."

Horton scored Florida's first goal when he one-timed a shot from
the slot off the far post. Kolnik then grabbed a loose puck after a
shot by Martin Gelinas was blocked and fired a wrist shot to the
short side with Raycroft out of position.

"The way the games are going, a two- or three-goal lead just
isn't enough anymore," Bruins coach Mike Sullivan said. "That's a
lesson we should heed coming out of this game."

Game notes
There were two fights in the first 3:12 of the game, with
Boston's Colton Orr squaring off with Eric Cairns, and Boston's
Patrick Leahy going against Chris Gratton. ... Florida played
without F Gary Roberts (groin). ... Boston has scored 18 goals in
its three victories after managing only one in each of the first
two games. ... The Panthers failed in their attempt to start 4-1
for the first time since 1995-96, when they made their only trip to
the Stanley Cup finals. ... C Dave Scatchard made his Boston debut
after missing the first four games with a groin injury.