Knight makes 37 saves, Panthers end Bruins winning streak at seven

Spencer Knight made 37 saves for the Florida Panthers, who ended the Boston Bruins’ seven-game winning streak with a 5-2 victory at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida, on Wednesday.

“Every goalie likes to feel a lot of pucks,” Knight said. “But I’ve learned how to play in all situations, whether I’m facing one shot a period or 20. It doesn’t really matter at this point. It gets you into the game, but at the same time, I mean , every team is so good and you can’t be comfortable.”

Alexander Barkov and Aaron Ekblad each had a goal and two assists for Florida (10-8-2), which got its first win in four games. Sam Reinhart and Matthew Tkachuk each had a goal and an assist.

“I think it built over the course of the game,” Panthers coach Paul Maurice said. “We were better [in the] second and third period, for sure. [Boston’s] a dangerous team, playing with a tremendous amount of confidence. … Spencer Knight was really strong in the first period, and you get that good feeling from your goaltender, and I think we really fed off that.”

Video: BOS@FLA: Barkov tips in Montour’s shot for PPG in 2nd

Charlie McAvoy and David Pastrnak scored, etc Jeremy Swayman made 24 saves for Boston (17-3-0).

“We were pretty dominant in the first,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said. “And then the second, the other part of our game that needs to be better is turnovers. We made too many turnovers at the offensive blue line that didn’t allow us to get to our game.”

Reinhart gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead on the power play at 1:49 of the first period. On a give-and-go, Tkachuk drew Swayman out on the right side before sending the puck back to Reinhart with the net open.

“I was concerned about the start because Florida always starts really well,” Montgomery said. “Oddly enough, I thought our start was really good. We took that penalty and that kind of took away from some things.”

Video: BOS@FLA: McAvoy scores on 5-on-3 power play in 1st

McAvoy tied it 1-1 at 17:14 on a 5-on-3 slap shot from the high slot. McAvoy briefly exited earlier in the period after colliding with the Panthers forward Carter Verhaeghe and the end boards.

Anton Lundell gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead at 4:41 of the second period, beating Swayman blocker side from the left circle off a cross-ice feed from Nick Cousins.

“They’re a good team, high offensive power,” Swayman said. “Obviously, I wanted to make some savings in a timely manner [manner]but they definitely capitalized, so they want to learn from that and definitely take the positives and move forward.”

Barkov pushed it to 3-1 at 15:31 of the second on the power play, redirecting Brandon Montour‘s point shot.

“We haven’t been winning [as many] games as we want to,” Barkov said. “At the same time, I think it’s about building the game, and feeling more and more comfortable on the ice and later in the season. … Right now, especially, we need to win some games, and against Boston, it was [a] huge one.”

Tkachuk made it 4-1 at 19:46 with a power-play redirection from Swayman’s right post, extending his goal streak to four games.

“[Tkachuk’s] got one of those unusual sets of hands that within two or three feet of the net, he gets a stick on everything,” Maurice said.

Video: BOS@FLA: Tkachuk stretches lead with PPG late in 2nd

Pastrnak cut it to 4-2 at 6:20 of the third period on another 5-on-3 goal for Boston from the high slot. An apparent Charlie Coyle goal at 16:06 was waved off for a hand pass.

Florida went 3-for-7 on the man advantage; Boston was 2-for-6.

“We’ve been a little undisciplined this year, and it bit us in the butt tonight,” Bruins forward Brad Marchand said.

Video: BOS@FLA: Pastrnak cranks one-timer for PPG in the 3rd

Ekblad scored into an empty net from his own blue line, his 100th NHL goal, at 17:50 for the 5-2 final.

“Being here in front of our fans makes a huge difference for us,” Ekblad said. “We’ve kind of been snake-bitten recently, haven’t gotten the wins we really wanted and really felt like we deserved, so tonight’s a good quality effort from everybody and we got that result.”

NOTES: McAvoy has nine points (one goal, eight assists) in his past five games dating to Nov. 13, trailing only Sidney Crosby (11 points; four goals, seven assists) for the most points in the NHL in that span. … McAvoy boosted his season totals to 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in seven games. Only two Bruins defensemen have had 10 points in fewer games: Bobby Orr (four games in 1975-76, five in 1973-74, six in 1971-72 and six in 1969-70) and Ray Bourque (six games in 1989-90 ). … Ekblad became the first defenseman and 12th skater in Panthers history to score 100 goals. He did it in his 563rd game. Only one active NHL defenseman reached 100 in fewer games: Erik Karlsson of the San Jose Sharks (477). … Barkov scored his 66th power-play goal, tying Scott Mellanby for the most in Panthers history. … After failing to score in his first 12 games, Reinhart has six goals in his past eight games, the most for Florida over that span.


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