BOSTON — Troy Brouwer scored a short-handed goal and Roberto Luongo stopped 30 shots to help the Florida Panthers beat Boston 4-1 on Saturday and hand the Bruins their first loss at home since January.
Noel Acciari scored and Tuukka Rask made 19 saves for Boston, which has already clinched a playoff berth and will most likely open the post-season at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Panthers, who have already been eliminated from playoff contention, have won two straight to snap a four-game losing streak.
Riley Sheahan and Evgenii Dadonov scored about two minutes apart late in the first period to give Florida a 2-0 lead. It stayed that way until Acciari used a backhand swipe to beat Luongo and cut the deficit to one goal.
But just 1:07 later, with the Bruins on their first power play of the game, Brouwer was the first one to reach a puck that caromed out to centre ice. He skated into the zone, faked a slap shot and then beat Rask with a wrister on the stick side to give the Panthers a 3-1 lead.
Dadonov added an empty-netter with 2:19 left to clinch it.
With 10 minutes left in the game, the Bruins had the puck behind Luongo before it was swept off the goal line by a defender. Luongo sprawled to the ice, losing his stick in the process, but Boston wasn’t able to get off a shot while he was out of position.
NOTES: Boston’s 12-game home win streak was its longest since 2008-09. … Bruins F Chris Wagner won the team’s 7th Player Award, selected by a fan vote, for exceeding the expectations of Bruins fans during the season. Wagner, who signed as a free agent last summer, has a career-high 12 goals and six assists. He leads the Bruins and is ninth in the NHL with 245 hits. … Florida will play its last three games of the season at home. … Bruins F Brad Marchand was so upset at a play in the second period he slammed his stick against the boards as he returned to the bench, sending the blade flying back toward centre ice.
Panthers: Host the Washington Capitals on Monday night.
Bruins: Visit the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday night.
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Jimmy Golen, The Associated Press