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Chara, Rask lead Bruins over Panthers
Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (40) deflects a shot past Florida Panthers center Drew Shore (15) in the third period at the BB&T Center. The Bruins won 4-1. (Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports)
Chris Kelly registered his first tally of the season and Milan Lucic and Daniel Paille also scored for the Bruins, who won their third game in a row and improved to 7-1-1 on the road.
Tomas Kopecky netted his second goal in three contests for the Panthers, who failed on all four of their opportunities with the power play to drop to 0-for-17 during their 0-2-3 skid at home.
After Lucic opened the scoring at 7:57 of the first period, Chara doubled the advantage nearly six minutes later. The 6-foot-9 defenseman stayed on his skates after a brilliant spin move before gliding into the right faceoff circle and backhanding the puck over the left shoulder of Jacob Markstrom (28 saves) for his third goal of the season.
Kopecky answered just over 1 1/2 minute later, but Kelly countered with a power-play tally at 2:30 of the second period. Paille skated into the offensive zone and watched as his deflected shot skidded right to Kelly, who tapped it into the open net from the doorstep to give Boston a 3-1 lead.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Florida nearly tied the contest at 1-1 in the first period, but Drew Shore's bid was foiled by Tyler Seguin prior to the puck venturing over the goal line. The horn briefly went off to signify a goal, but play continued. ... Boston LW Brad Marchand, who registered nine goals on only 20 shots this season, led the team with six shots on goal. ... The Bruins outshot the Panthers by a 3-0 margin during Florida's four-minute power play that bridged the second and third periods. Boston has killed off 21 consecutive short-handed situations.