Stempniak lifts Bruins over Panthers in overtime

Lee Stempniak scored the overtime winner as the Boston Bruins defeated the Florida Panthers.

SUNRISE, Fla. — Lee Stempniak is fitting in nicely with his new team.

Stempniak scored his first goal as a Bruin in overtime and Boston beat Florida 5-4 on Monday night.

Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr moved into third on the NHL career points list, assisting on Aleksander Barkov‘s goal to pass Gordie Howe with 1,851 points.

Bruins coach Claude Julien moved past Art Ross to become Boston’s career coaching wins leader with 388 regular-season victories.

Stempniak, acquired from New Jersey on Feb. 29 at the trade deadline, also had two assists. He has a goal and five assists in four games since joining the Bruins.

``It's been fun. I'm with two great players (Marchand and Bergeron) having great years and I'm trying to complement them and not to mess it up at this point,'' Stempniak said. ``Tonight was a good win despite blowing the lead. It's nice to stick with it and get the two points.''

Patrice Bergeron scored twice for the Bruins. Brett Connolly and David Pastrnak also had goals, Brad Marchand had two assists and Tuukka Rask made 47 saves.

Jiri Hudler scored twice for the Panthers. Jussi Jokinen also scored and Jonathan Huberdeau had two assists. Roberto Luongo allowed four goals on 16 shots before being replaced by Al Montoya to start the second period. Montoya stopped 15 shots.

The Panthers lost their third straight game. The Bruins are 5-1-1 in their last seven.

On his winner, Stempniak took a pass from Ryan Spooner high in the right circle and fired the puck over Montoya with 1:00 left in the extra period.

``I tried selling to the far side and get him leaning a little bit and then go to the short side. It was a great pass from Spooner,'' Stempniak said.

The Panthers 51 shots are a season high, and they were able to salvage a point after being behind 3-0 and 4-1 in the first period.

``It's not the result we wanted, but it's a lot better than what it started out to be,'' Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said.

The Panthers maintain second place in the Atlantic Division. They are tied in points with the Bruins but have a game in hand.

Behind 4-3, the Panthers tied it 4-all on Hudler's second goal. Hudler grabbed a rebound in the slot and poked the puck past Rask with 4:43 left in the third.

``It felt great, but we were bad the first period and we battled back. I thought we played real well the second and third,'' Hudler said.

Florida scored two goals in the second after trailing 4-1.

Hudler shot from the right circle, beating Rask on the glove side for his first goal as a Panther. Hudler was acquired in a trade from the Calgary Flames on Feb. 27.

Jokinen made the score 4-3 just 9 seconds into a power play. Jokinen's shot from the slot got past Rask at 6:08, extending his point streak to eight games.

The Bruins went nearly 10 minutes without a shot in the second period.

``One of the worst periods I've seen in a long time from our hockey club,'' Julien said. ``We got better in the third period but we had to go to overtime to win.''

The Bruins scored four goals in the first period and seemed to be cruising to an easy win.

Bergeron's first goal gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead just 34 seconds in. Bergeron skated in on Luongo and beat him on the glove side for his 27th of the season. Bergeron has scored a goal in four straight games.

The Bruins went ahead 2-0 when Pastrnak backhanded the puck between Luongo's pads at 7:00.

Connolly stretched the Bruins' lead to 3-0 after his wrist shot from the right circle bounced off Luongo's blocker and into the net at 12:22.

The Panthers finally got on the board when Barkov grabbed a rebound in the slot and slid it under Rask's pads with 3:12 left in the first.

The celebration was short-lived. Bergeron's shot from the right circle beat Luongo 37 seconds later for his second goal to make it 4-1.

NOTES: Huberdeau returned after missing six games with an upper-body injury. ... Jagr played in his 1,613th NHL game, passing Ray Bourque for ninth place. ... Bruins D Kevan Miller was scratched with an upper-body injury. ... Bergeron has scored the game's first goal eight times this season. ... C Noel Acciari's assist on the Bruins third goal was his first NHL point.