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Bruins 3, Panthers 0

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BOSTON -- Facing the Florida Panthers was all the Boston Bruins needed to get back on track with the playoffs right around the corner.

Jaromir Jagr scored his second goal as a Bruin, Dougie Hamilton added a goal in the second period and Boston snapped a four-game winless streak with a 3-0 victory over the Panthers on Sunday afternoon.

Tuukka Rask stopped all 28 shots he faced en route to his fourth shutout this season for Boston, which moved into a tie with Montreal for the Northeast Division lead and the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference for the playoffs. The Bruins have four games remaining and the Canadiens have three.

The victory closed out a harrowing week for the city of Boston, scarred by the horrific bombings Monday at the Boston Marathon and the ensuing manhunt for the two suspects that locked down virtually the entire city late Thursday and throughout Friday.

It also was the second game in a stretch of six games in nine days to close the regular season for the Bruins, who are facing a reshuffled schedule after the attacks. In a game rescheduled because of the massive manhunt Friday, Boston lost 3-2 to Pittsburgh on Saturday and also had its Monday night game against Ottawa postponed after the bombings earlier in the day.

The Panthers, losers of 10 of their past 14 games, have dropped six straight, getting outscored 30-8 during the skid.

It didn't take Boston long to jump in front.

Jagr's goal just 3:03 into the game, his 16th goal of the season, was all Boston needed to notch its first win since April 10 against New Jersey. With the puck loose inside the right circle, Jagr scooped it up, swiveled and skated in the direction of goaltender Jacob Markstrom and lifted a wrister over the goalie's glove.

It was the future Hall of Famer's first goal for Boston since finding the back of the net in his Bruins' debut on April 4 after being acquired from Dallas. He also has six assists in his nine games with the team.

Rask later preserved the lead with his left leg, making an outstanding kick save on a short shot by Drew Shore, who received a centering pass in front of the crease and shifted the puck to his right before being denied on the doorstep.

After peppering Markstrom with a flurry of shots early in the second period, Boston eventually made it 2-0 on Hamilton's fifth goal of the season. The youngest player on the Bruins' roster at 19 years old, Hamilton took a pass from Shawn Thornton at the blue line and rifled a slapper that sailed over the right shoulder of Markstrom at the 13:33 mark of the period.

Brad Marchand added an empty-netter, his team-best 18th goal of the year, with 1:22 left to seal the win.

Markstrom turned away 36 of 38 shots on the afternoon.

NOTES: There was an increased police presence outside TD Garden before the game. Every person who entered the stadium was scanned with a metal detector, a process implemented throughout the week. ... Singer Rene Rancourt again delivered a rousing rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner, pausing throughout to allow fans to sing. ... The Bruins, winless in their previous four game, haven't gone without a victory in four straight home games since going 0-7-3 from Jan. 7 to March 2, 2010. ... Panthers players sported 'Boston Police' hats during their pregame warm-ups. ... Boston forward Nathan Horton (upper body) and defenseman Adam McQuaid (lower body) missed the game. Horton appeared to have injured a wrist during a fight with Pittsburgh's Jarome Iginla on Saturday. McQuaid, meanwhile, was the victim of a low and questionable hit from Penguins forward Matt Cooke during the second period on Saturday. ... Boston center Carl Soderberg, recently signed to a three-year contract out of Sweden, had his first NHL point when he assisted on Jagr's first-period goal. ... The Panthers entered the game with a 15-15-3-4 record in Boston, one of just two teams (Minnesota the other) to not own a losing record in Beantown. ... Markstrom had faced the Bruins just once in his two seasons, a 4-1 loss on Feb. 24.
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