SUNRISE, Fla. (AP)—Despite having its winless streak extended to six games, the Florida Panthers saw some positives in a tie.
“We played hard and we played pretty … smart,” Florida coach Rick Dudley said. “From my perspective, you can see it getting better, a lot better.”
Florida almost had a victory, but Ted Donato scored a short-handed goal with 9:08 left in the third period for the Bruins, who have won only one of their last nine games (1-3-4-1). Boston, which is 8-2-2-3 on the road, has tied its last three games.
“We’ve got to get better as a team,” Bruins center Brian Rolston said. “I’m sure the papers aren’t going say: unbeaten in three.”
The teams also tied 1-1 on Oct. 11 in their only other meeting this season.
“It was pretty easy through the first two to 2 1/2 periods, but after we scored they started opening up,” said Boston goalie Andrew Raycroft, who finished with 30 saves.
“They got a lot of shots in overtime, they got some good chances, but the guys did a good job of coming back and breaking them up,” Raycroft said.
Roberto Luongo made 29 saves for Florida.
“Obviously, they’ve got a pretty good goalie down at the other end,” Raycroft said. “He was a big reason it was 1-1 the last time. Tonight, they got the first goal and then they sat five guys in front of the net until we scored. They dictated the 1-1 tie tonight, for sure.”
Boston was limited to 15 shots in the first two periods before doubling their output in their third.
“I told our guys, we’ve got to shoot the puck,” Boston coach Mike Sullivan said. “We were looking for the perfect play, and sometimes it’s not there. I told them we’ve got to get some ugly goals.”
Donato’s goal was far from ugly. Playing his third game since being recalled from the minors, Donato scored his first goal of the season when he took Sean O’Donnell’s long pass at center ice and beat Luongo on a breakaway.
“It’s not often you get a breakaway from the red line,” Donato said. “It’s nice to contribute. He s a big kid. You’re certainly lucky to score on him when you get a breakaway.”
Boston entered as the only team without a short-handed goal.
“Our penalty killing hasn’t been as good as the players on it should make it,” Donato said. “As a fourth-line guy, you try to find a niche to have an impact on the game. If it’s penalty killing, I’ll accept that.”
Bure scored at 4:39 of the first period when he took a pass from Niklas Hagman behind the Boston net, skated in front, deked past Rolston, brought the puck back in front of the net and beat Raycroft to the far side while falling.
“That’s the kind of goal that Val does, he makes a nice quick move on the net and sometimes he makes moves so fast that it’s just physics that he has to fall down,” Hagman said. “He’s very good even when he falls down. He stillgets the shot.
The Panthers have allowed 30 shots or more in their last 12 games. … Boston was 0-for-4 on the power play, and has only one power-play goal in its last eight games. … The Panthers offered season-ticket holders four free tickets to the game in an effort to fill the arena with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in attendance. There were 17,465 tickets distributed, although the crowd appeared to be no more than half that size. … Boston LW Michal Grosekreturned after missing the previous two games because of a shoulder injury.