Chara, Lucic score to help Bruins beat Panthers

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Posted: Sunday, February 24, 2013 6:00 pm

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - Zdeno Chara and Milan Lucic scored first-period goals and the Boston Bruins beat the Florida Panthers 4-1 on Sunday.

Chris Kelly had a power-play goal in the second and Daniel Paille had an empty-net goal in the third. Tuukka Rask stopped 34 shots for the Bruins, who won their third straight game.

Tomas Kopecky scored a goal for Florida and Jacob Markstrom made 28 saves in his second consecutive start for the Panthers, who have lost seven of their past eight games and five in a row at home.

The Bruins took a 1-0 lead on Lucic's goal at 7:57 of the first. David Krejci won the faceoff and pushed the puck out to Lucic at the top of the left circle and his slap shot beat Markstrom on the stick side.

Boston went ahead 2-0 when Chara scored at 13:51. Chara grabbed a loose puck above the circles, made some nifty moves with the puck to get close, then backhanded it high into the net.

The Panthers closed to 2-1 on Kopecky's goal. After battling for the puck in front of the Bruins net, Kopecky was able to push the puck past Rask at 15:38 of the first.

Kelly's power-play goal at 2:30 of the second stretched the Bruins lead to 3-1. A loose puck drifted towards the net and Kelly poked it in for his first goal of the season.

Paille added a short-handed, empty-net goal with 1:37 left when the Panthers pulled Markstrom for a 6-on-4 power play.

NOTES: The Bruins have 21 straight penalty kills over six games. ... Bruins RW Nathan Horton has never scored in eight games against his original NHL team. Horton played for the Panthers from 2003-2010. ... The Panthers five-game home loss streak is their first since an 0-4-1 stretch Feb. 16-March 6, 2011. ... Panthers F Alex Kovalev turned 40 on Sunday. Kovalev is one of eight active 40-plus players in the NHL.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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