Boston 6, Florida 5 (ot)

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SUNRISE, FLORIDA (TICKER) Mike Knuble set an NHL record for the fastest two goals by one player at the start of a game, but the Boston Bruins had to rally for a 6-5 overtime victory over the Florida Panthers.

After Knuble struck twice in the first 27 seconds, the Bruins erased deficits of 4-2 and 5-4 before Brian Rolston scored 27 seconds into the extra session.

Seconds after rifling a slap shot off the right goalpost, Rolston made good on his second chance with a slap shot that hit both posts and the crossbar before falling into the net.

Nick Boynton made a great pass in the middle and I was pretty much by myself,” Rolston said. “The defenseman was standing in front and I had time to tee it up. Luckily, it got off the post and in. You never want to get into a run-and-gun game because we made some mistakes, but it was nice to see us come back, fight back and win that hockey game.”

Knuble opened the scoring by swatting a puck out of mid-air 10 seconds into the game, then struck 17 seconds later, sneaking behind the Panthers’ defense and wristing a shot over Luongo’s right pad.

“I think when that happens, it can backfire against you a little bit,” said Knuble, who totaled a career-high four points. “It certainly did tonight. We still had to play 59 minutes.”

It also set a Bruins’ record for the fastest two goals at the start of a game. The previous mark was 37 seconds against the New York Rangers on January 31, 1943.

The Bruins fell three seconds shy of the NHL record, set by the Edmonton Oilers on March 18, 1982.

“Maybe it will be a trivia question or something in 10 years,” Knuble said. “People will say, `Who’s that?’ I guess that’s the only way I will get into the book.”

But Florida responded with four straight goals. Olli Jokinen got the Panthers on the board at 7:20 with his 30th tally and newcomer Matt Cullen knotted it with just over six minutes to play in the period.

Cullen tried to pass the puck across the crease to Kristian Huselius, but goaltender Jeff Hackett deflected the puck with his blocker. It bounced around in the crease before hitting the goalie in the back and crossing the line.

“Obviously, we made a couple of mistakes at the start of the game that allowed them to get a good jump on us,” Florida coach Mike Keenan said. “We really held our composure and we were able to come back and score four unanswered goals.”

The Panthers took the lead in the second period on goals by Huselius and Viktor Kozlov, but Joe Thornton evened it up with two power-play goals in a five-minute span late in the second.

Moments after goaltender Roberto Luongo denied Thornton with a blind pad save at the right post, the Bruins captain converted on a two-man advantage with 7:33 left.

With 32 seconds to go, Thornton scored his 10th power-play goal of the season, taking a pass from Knuble in the left faceoff circle and wristing the puck over Luongo’s right pad.

“We were going good, but then we kind of cooled off a little bit,” Thornton said. “Luckily for those power plays, they got us back in the game. They seemed to pay out for us tonight.”

Florida grabbed a 5-4 lead on defenseman Andreas Lilja’s goal 2:54 into the third, but the Bruins pulled even again just under eight minutes later on Glen Murray’s 29th of the season.

“We were very pleased to get that fifth one,” Boston coach Robbie Ftorek said. “We could have folded the tent, but the boys didn’t fold the tent at all. They kept battling, battling, and that’s what we like to see.”

The Panthers nearly regained the lead with just under five minutes to play, but Hackett deflected a close-range shot by Cullen over the net.

Hackett made 31 saves to square his record at 11-11-2.

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Goalie Team Shot Save
Jeff Hackett Phi 36 31