BOSTON — The Boston Bruins extended their season-opening home point streak to 19 games with a 7-3 win against the Florida Panthers at TD Garden on Monday.
Patrice Bergeron had two goals and two assists, David Pastrnak scored and Linus Ullmark made 36 saves for Boston (25-4-2), which is 17-0-2 at home. Brad Marchand had three assists, and four other Bruins players had multipoint games.
“Our depth wore on them,” Boston coach Jim Montgomery said. “We kept playing four lines, you know, with 5-on-5 play the majority of the time, especially the first 30 minutes, it allowed us to get ahead.”
Sam Reinhart and Carter Verhaeghe each had a goal and an assist, and Spencer Knight made 19 saves for Florida (15-14-4).
“I don’t think our game was a whole lot different until it got to about 6-3,” Panthers coach Paul Maurice said. “I think we had things that we’d like to do better with the pucks in the transition game. That kind of bit us in the butt, but we put up 39 [shots]. We had enough to score; we gave up more than we could tonight to have a chance to win.”
The Bruins took a 4-0 lead, propelled by three first-period goals in a 5:16 span, but Florida followed up with three goals in 5:20 in the second period to make it 4-3 before Boston pulled away.
“It’s going to happen,” said Bergeron, the Bruins captain. “I think we need to realize what makes you kind of fall back like that and give up the goals, or the odd-man rushes or the situation. I think, to me, it’s always been simplifying, and when you make the hard play instead of making the simple play or the easy play, I think that’s when you kind of get caught.”
Connor Clifton gave Boston a 1-0 lead at 10:51 of the first period when he brought the puck into the zone and cycled around the net to collect his own centering pass that Knight deflected and shot bar down.
Carlo made it 2-0 at 14:04, streaking into the high slot and firing off a pass from Marchand to end his 32-game goal drought.
“I feel like there’s been a lot of opportunities in the offensive zone for all of us defensemen,” Carlo said. “It’s a matter of, you know, putting it in the back of the net.”
Charlie Coyle pushed it to 3-0 at 16:07, settling a Trent Frederic cross-ice pass in the right face-off circle and firing the puck off Knight’s pad and in the net.
Pastrnak extended the lead to 4-0 at 1:38 of the second with a power-play goal, rebounding Bergeron’s shot from the slot and slipping the puck under Knight’s arm.
“We give them chances, they’re going to score,” Verhaeghe said. “They’re a really skilled team, and we give up what we gave up, they’re going to make plays and score goals. So, I think we need to tighten it up a little bit.”
Reinhart cut it to 4-1 at 3:02, tapping the puck past Ullmark on the doorstep after collecting it in front from a Matt Kiersted point shot.
“I think we had a strong push there in the second,” Kiersted said. “A little push back, but I think we kind of gave them a lot. They got to us off the rush a little bit; I think that’s where it hurt.”
Eric Staal made it 4-2 at 5:42, one-timing a Gustav Forsling feed from the right circle.
Verhaeghe cut it to 4-3 at 8:22 on a between-the-legs backhand, but David Krejci responded to make it 5-3 at 11:50 after a Hampus Lindholm redirection hit the post.
“I heard post, and just came back to my side,” Krejci said. “I figured it wasn’t in, so I just put it in. It’s one of those [being] at the right place at the right time.”
Bergeron put Boston ahead 6-3 at 8:52 of the third period, scoring blocker side off a stretch pass from Clifton before poking in a power-play goal at 13:18 for the 7-3 final.
“I think everyone in our room recognizes that we’re probably not great 200 feet for 60 minutes,” Montgomery said. “But it seems like we go in spurts and we pull away. It’s not ideal, but you have to be somewhat, I guess, realistic, that you’re going to go through moments like this. And if we can learn as we win , it’s better than learning as you lose, but then the losses will come and then we’ll learn better.”
NOTES: The Panthers have lost five of their past eight games (3-5-0). … Knight made his first start since Dec. 6, a 5-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets. … Bergeron and Marchand factored on the same goal three times to bring their total together to 392, which marks the second-highest such total by Bruins teammates behind Phil Esposito and Ken Hodge (406 times). The only other two active players to factor on the same goal 390 or more times are Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom with the Washington Capitals (499 times). … Pastrnak extended his point streak to nine games (7-4 — 11), marking his second nine-game run of the season (Nov. 7-25). He joined Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (twice) as the only players with multiple point streaks of at least nine games in 2022-23. … Reinhart got his 400th NHL point.