The Boston Bruins only got one opportunity to show off their NHL-best power play.
That's all they needed as Sergei Samsonov's power-play goal late in the second period lifted the Bruins to a 1-0 victory over the Florida Panthers Wednesday night to extend their road undefeated streak to five games.
"Our big line was the difference," said Bruins coach Pat Burns. "We were fortunate to get that goal. The Panthers played a solid game, and we played a solid game, but nobody blew anybody's doors off here tonight."
Bruins goaltender Byron Dafoe, who had 26 saves, notched his fourth shutout of the season and the 11th of his eight-year career.
"I see the puck and I stop it," Dafoe said. "The guys in front of me did a nice job in clearing people out and helping me see the puck."
Boston is 5-1-3 in its last nine games and 4-0-1 in its last five road games, while Florida is winless in its last five games (0-3-2).
On their first and only power-play opportunity of the game, Samsonov flipped the puck over the shoulder of Panthers goaltender Kirk McLean for a 1-0 lead at 18:32 of the second period. Ray Bourque and Jason Allison, who shot the puck onto Samsonov's stick at the goalmouth, received assists on Boston's league-leading 25th power-play goal.
"We came down to Florida and wound up getting two wins," said Bourque, whose team defeated Tampa Bay 4-1 Tuesday. "We really needed those four points."
It was Samsonov's sixth goal of the season and Allison's 14th assist, his 12th on the power play. For Bourque, it was his 10th assist of the season and career number 1,046, three shy of Gordie Howe for third place on the all-time list.
"Things seem to be working on our power play," Bourque said. "We're not scoring a lot, but we're scoring consistenty and at the right time."
The Panthers pulled McLean with 59 seconds left, but only managed a partially deflected shot by Scott Mellanby that was easily handled by Dafoe.
"There wasn't a lot of room to skate out there and they just shut the door in the third period," Mellanby said.
The Bruins, who lead the NHL in power-play percentage, didn't get many chances to improve on it as the Panthers didn't commit a penalty until 2:57 was left in the second period when Robert Svehla was called for tripping.
"It's disappointing for us coaches, we didn't see the same desperate game that the team had showed in the last couple of games," said Panthers coach Terry Murray. "The desperation wasn't there in the first two periods and we're not good enough of a team to say, `OK, it's time to turn the game on."
The Panthers were ranked third in the league for power-play defense at home, but went 0-for-1 Wednesday.
Six days ago th same teams skated to a 5-5 tie, but goals were hard to come by as the 0-0 score through the first 38:32 indicated.
McLean, making his third consecutive start, turned aside 19 Bruins shots.
"They (Boston) kept it simple," McLean said. "It's frustrating when the guys can't score, but they'll keep plugging away and hopefully the floodgates will open up for us."
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