BOSTON — Brad Marchand is in the middle of a hot streak and Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask thinks he knows why.
Marchand scored 3:27 into overtime to lift the Bruins to their ninth straight win over the Florida Panthers, 2-1 on Tuesday night.
"He doesn't think. He just goes," the goalie said when asked about Marchand's run. "He goes by his instinct. When he gets over thinking he gets over passing and puts on the brakes and looks for the late guy coming in and gets turnovers and gets yelled at, and starts over-thinking more."
Marchand, who also set up Patrice Bergeron's second-period goal, shifted around defenseman Dylan Olsen and lifted a wrist shot over goaltender Roberto Luongo for the winner. He has four goals and two assists in his last three games.
It looked as if he would win it 40 seconds into the OT, but he flubbed a shot from in close that went wide with Luongo out of position.
"I was a little frustrated," Marchand said. "I'm just glad we got the two points."
Jussi Jokinen scored for the Panthers, who have earned points in seven straight games. They had won two in a row.
Rask made 18 saves for the Bruins, who have won three straight. Luongo had 23 stops.
The Bruins played a video tribute for former enforcer Shawn Thornton, who played with the club from 2007-14 and was a part of their 2011 Stanley Cup championship team, late in the opening period. The video was filled with as many — if not more — fights as goals and the crowd gave Thronton, a fan favorite, a standing ovation. He was in front of the Panthers' bench and waved to the crowd.
"It's pretty touching, you know," Thornton said. "To get a standing ovation in a visiting arena is pretty special, and I appreciate it. The fans have always been great to me here and again tonight. It's pretty nice."
Luongo seemed satisfied getting the point.
"Right now, we feel good about our team and our game," he said. "We know that we can play against anybody. I think we showed that tonight coming into a tough building. We played them pretty much straight up, and it came down to a play in overtime."
There was just one penalty called in the game — a minor against Boston in the second.
The Panthers broke in front 1-0 on Jokinen's goal 4:04 into the second period when he took a short pass from Brad Boyes and beat Rask with a shot from the slot.
Boston tied it on Bergeron's score at 7:29. Winger Marchand fed a pass from along the boards to Bergeron at the left circle. He then spun around quickly and fired a rising shot over Luongo's left shoulder inside the far post.
Florida's Rocco Grimaldi hit the post with a shot from in close early in the third.
Luongo kept the game tied by making a sprawling right pad stop on Marchand at the end of a 2-on-1 break late in the second.
The fans were waiting for a chance to welcome Thronton back. There were numerous "Thornton No. 22" Bruins jerseys in the stands and signs, with one reading "We Miss You" and his picture attached. He got a loud ovation when he was announced in the starting lineup.
NOTES: Boston C David Krejci was sidelined for his second straight game with an undisclosed injury. ... Panthers F Jonathan Huberdeau missed his second straight with the flu. ... Florida LW Scottie Upshall played his 500th career game. ... Boston LW Milan Lucic's next game will be his 500th. ... The Panthers are at Philadelphia on Thursday night. Boston plays its third of a four-game homestand when it hosts Edmonton on Thursday. ... Florida entered the night having played only nine games, fewest in the NHL. ... Former Bruin Terry O'Reilly watched from a luxury box.
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