Marc Savard and Patrice Bergeron had a goal and an assist each to lead Boston to its eighth victory in nine games, a 4-2 decision over Florida on Friday night that moved the Bruins into a tie for the Eastern Conference lead.
• Patrice Bergeron and Marc Savard each tally a goal and an assist as the Bruins extend their home win streak to seven games, their longest since an eight-game run in 2002.
• Tim Thomas stops 30 shots, his eighth straight game with at least 30 saves, and he's won five of his last six starts.
• Boston has won 11 of its last 13 games.
• Florida snaps a five-game win streak at Boston and falls to 3-8-1 on the road.
-- ESPN research
"One of the things they preached at the start of the season was positioning," defenseman Aaron Ward said. "Teams that position themselves well by Thanksgiving have a tendency to really put themselves in good position at the end of the year."
The Bruins, 11-1-1 in their last 13 games and the winners of seven straight at home, matched the idle New York Rangers with 30 points in the conference race.
"I don't think we feel too good about ourselves," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "Our team has not had to face this kind of thing for a long time ... being in first place."
David Booth and Ville Peltonen scored for Florida, which ended a stretch of eight games in the last 10 on the road. The Panthers play the next three games at home.
"It's been a tough few weeks," Florida coach Peter DeBoer said. "A team like [Boston], they'll sting you. You make one mistake and it's in the net."
The victory was also only the second for the Bruins in their last nine home games against Florida. The Panthers are one of only two NHL teams -- Minnesota is the other -- with winning records against the Bruins in Boston.
Savard, who has two goals and nine assists during a five-game points streak and three goals and 15 assists in the last 17 games, sent Kessel in on a breakaway to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead just 2:46 of the first period. Kessel has goals in each of the last three games and three goals and three assists during a five-game points streak. He is the first Bruin to 10 goals this season.
After Booth tied it, Bergeron tipped Matt Hunwick's shot past Tomas Vokoun for his first goal in eight games. David Krejci and Savard scored in the second period as the Bruins peppered Vokoun with 35 shots in the first 40 minutes.
"You can't spot a team like that a couple of goals," Vokoun said.
Bruins goalie Tim Thomas made 30 saves to improve to 5-0-1 in his last six games.
Ville Peltonen scored his first goal of the season late to make it closer.
Booth's goal came on a breakaway and was first ruled no goal, even though it appeared to be in. A review confirmed Booth's sixth goal in the last nine games.
The Bruins, who haven't lost in regulation this month, are one game from matching their longest home winning streak since Nov. 2-29, 2002. They will face the New York Islanders on Nov. 29 after two straight road games.
Bruins left wing Marco Sturm missed his second straight game because of an upper-body injury and is day-to-day. Boston defenseman Matt Lashoff, recalled earlier in the week, was a healthy scratch. ... Friday night marked the Bruins' first Friday night home game since Dec. 23, 1977 and was also "Slapshot Night," honoring the movie. "Hanson brother" Steve Carlson was on hand and fans received "Hanson" glasses. ... The Bruins are in the midst of a stretch of 10 games in 18 nights and are in Montreal Saturday night, their fourth game in six nights this week. ... The Panthers concluded a stretch of eight road games in their last 10. They lost 3-1 in New Jersey on Thursday night. ... Panthers defenseman Bryan McCabe had two assists and has three goals and five assists in a six-game points streak. ... Florida scratched defenseman Jesse Cullimore (right knee) and left wing Rostislav Olesz (healthy).
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: TD Garden Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Referees: Paul Devorski, Ian Walsh Linesmen: Brian Murphy, Derek Nansen
Attendance: 16,878 (96.1% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Phil Kessel (10)
Assists: Marc Savard, Dennis Wideman
David Booth (9)
Assists: Nathan Horton, Bryan McCabe
Patrice Bergeron (4)
Assists: Matt Hunwick, Michael Ryder
David Krejci (5)
Assist: Chuck Kobasew
Marc Savard (8)
(Power Play) Assists: Patrice Bergeron, P.J. Axelsson
Ville Peltonen (1)
Assists: Jay Bouwmeester, Bryan McCabe