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Auld, Panthers end Bruins' winning streak

Nov 21, 2006 - 2:39 AM BOSTON (Ticker) -- Alex Auld and the Florida Panthers barely held on to halt the Boston Bruins' longest winning streak of the season.

Auld turned aside 29 shots and the Panthers scored a pair of power-play goals en route to a 3-2 victory over the red-hot Bruins.

It was just the second win in the last seven games for Florida, which snapped Boston's four-game winning streak.

"I thought tonight we had really good effort all through the lineup," Panthers coach Jacques Martin said. "I think the key really is to be able to distribute the ice time and not have to count on certain guys."

Acquired in the offseason trade which sent star goaltender Roberto Luongo to the Vancouver Canucks, Auld had temporarily lost his hold on the starting job to veteran Ed Belfour.

But the 25-year-old Auld was outstanding in recording his first win since October 13, stopping all 24 shots he faced over the first two periods.

"It feels great and it's pretty good to see everyone giving a good team effort," he said. "I think the guys did a good job of clearing rebounds and not letting them get their sticks on rebounds."

"Alex made some big saves, I thought he was really strong," Martin added. "He practiced well the morning of our last game and had a good practice yesterday, and I think he was really on top of his game tonight."

The Bruins cut their deficit to 2-1 less than five minutes into the final session on Glen Murray's goal, but Joe Nieuwendyk tallied with 10 minutes remaining to push the lead back to 3-1.

Murray scored again with just over five minutes remaining, but the Bruins could not break through against Auld thereafter.

"That was probably one of our best games of the year on the penalty kill," Auld said. "We played almost exactly how we want to play on the penalty kill, and that was a huge boost for us."

Martin Gelinas and Nathan Horton also scored for the Panthers, who killed off all six of their penalties to improve to 2-0-0 against the Bruins this season.

"Our goaltender was real good tonight and he made some big saves for us and allowed us to get the win," Nieuwendyk said. "It is a big win for us, no question. I think our team is headed in the right direction the last few games. We are getting some more consistent play."

Tim Thomas stopped 25 shots for the Bruins, who were on their longest winning streak since March 2004.

"I think through the season you have things that are not going right, and that was one of the games tonight," Boston coach Dave Lewis said. "Positionally we were pretty good in the first period, but we were not emotionally attached until later in the game."

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