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BOSTON — — Bruins coach Jim Montgomery watched his team turn a four-goal lead into a 4-3 lead and wondered if he should call a timeout to settle the situation.

“They’re saying the right things on the bench. It’s not like I can call a timeout and say something better,” he said after Boston recovered from a halftime slump to beat the Florida Panthers 7-3 on Monday night.

“There was no sense of panic,” Montgomery said, “but there was no sense of urgency in our game either.”

Patrice Bergeron scored a pair of third-period insurance goals after Boston nearly jumped out to a 4-0 lead and the Bruins improved to 17-0-2 at home. Bergeron also had a pair of assists and Linus Ullmark stopped 36 shots to earn his 10th straight victory.

“If we can learn as we win, that’s better than learning when we lose. But then the losses will come,” Montgomery said with a laugh, “and we’ll learn better.

The Bruins opened a 4-0 run early in the second period before the Panthers scored three times in a five-minute span to make it a one-goal game.

Montgomery said if he had a younger team, he would have called a timeout.

Instead, he let his veteran leaders do the talking.

“It’s easy to get stressed and panic,” Bergeron said. “I think when you catch your breath, you realize we’re still up, but we’ve got to be better.”

David Krejci grabbed a rebound off a Hampus Lindholm shot that bounced off both posts and out to give Boston a 5-3 lead midway through the second. It stayed that way until Bergeron took a long pass from Connor Clifton and beat Spencer Knight with 11 minutes to play.

The Bruins captain added another goal about three minutes later with a rebound off a turnover.

“We haven’t been playing very well with the lead lately, and that seems to be continuing,” Montgomery said. “We are a little loose now, but we are winning. So it’s a good balance of how much you push and how much you let the guys work things out.”

Knight stopped 19 shots for the Panthers, who have lost four of their last six games.

DURING THE MEETING

The Bruins made it 4-0 in the opening minutes of the second, just 21 seconds into the game after a penalty shot over the glass. Brad Marchand fed Bergeron and his shot from Knight bounced right to David Pastrnak.

That’s when the Panthers woke up.

Just 100 seconds later, Sam Reinhart took a shot that Ullmark missed and tapped in to make it 4-1. Eric Staal made it 4-2 with a one-timer from the right circle six minutes into the second. Three minutes later, with his back to the net, Carter Verhaeghe deflected a shot between himself and Ullmark’s legs.

As the ball bounced over the goal line, Boston quarterback Derek Forbort cleared it; it was initially ruled a no-goal, but replays showed it had clearly crossed the line. (Forbort managed to get behind Ullmark and hit one with his glove in the third inning).

ON THE BOARD

Boston’s first six goals were scored by six different players. Among them was defenseman Brandon Carlo, who scored his first goal of the season when he skated straight down the field before firing past Knight to make it 2-0 with six minutes left in the first.

“It’s something I haven’t tried to focus too much on, not having a goal yet,” said Carlo, who has 22 goals in six-plus NHL seasons. “I knew it would hopefully come sooner and I’m glad it happened tonight.”

Clifton and Charlie Coyle also scored for Boston.

NEXT

Panthers. Host the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday night.

Bruins. Host the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP–Sports



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