SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) – Patrice Bergeron, centering Boston’s top line in place of the injured Joe Thornton, had a goal and an assist to lead the Bruins to a 5-2 victory over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.

Florida goaltender Roberto Luongo, the NHL’s defensive player of the week, was pulled after Bergeron’s goal made it 3-0 at 5:26 of the second period.

Glen Murray, Tom Fitzgerald and Brad Isbister also scored for the Bruins, who have won three straight since losing their first two games of the season. P.J. Axelsson added an empty-net goal in the final minute.

Andrew Raycroft made 33 saves for the Bruins.

Thornton didn’t make the trip, remaining in Boston for treatment of his ailing back.

Nathan Horton and Juraj Kolnik scored for the Panthers, who have scored more than two goals only once this season – Monday’s 3-1 victory over the New York Islanders, which included an empty-netter.

Luongo came into the game having allowed only three goals in four games. He held Boston to three goals in four meetings in 2003-04 when the Panthers went 2-0-2 against the Bruins.

The Panthers seemed to come to life after Luongo was pulled, outshooting Boston 13-3 the rest of the second period and cutting Boston’s lead to 3-2.

Isbister scored an insurance goal when he put a rebound over Jamie McLennan at 11:34 of the third period. McLennan stopped nine of 10 shots after replacing Luongo.

Murray’s power-play goal gave Boston a 1-0 lead 4:53 in. Bergeron made it 3-0 when he put in his own rebound after Luongo made a sprawling save on his wrap-around attempt.

Horton scored Florida’s first goal when he one-timed a shot from the slot off the far post. Kolnik then grabbed a loose puck after a shot by Martin Gelinas was blocked and fired a wrist shot to the short side with Raycroft out of position.

Notes: There were two fights in the first 3:12 of the game, with Boston’s Colton Orr squaring off with Eric Cairns, and Boston’s Patrick Leahy going against Chris Gratton. … Florida played without F Gary Roberts (groin). … Boston has scored 17 goals in its three victories after managing only one in each of the first two games. … The Panthers failed in their attempt to start 4-1 for the first time since 1995-96, when they made their only trip to the Stanley Cup finals. … C Dave Scatchard made his Boston debut after missing the first four games with a groin injury.

AP-ES-10-13-05 2146EDT


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