Bruins continue road trip with battle against Panthers

The Boston Bruins will shoot for a third straight win when they continue a five-game road trip in Sunday's battle with the Florida Panthers.

The Bruins had lost two in a row before posting victories in Winnipeg and Tampa. Thursday's 4-2 triumph over the Lightning pushed Boston's record to 2-1-0 on a swing that is set to end Tuesday at the New York Islanders.

All told, Boston is 6-1-1 as the visiting team and the Bruins only have two regulation losses in 14 total games (10-2-2) this season.

The Bruins used a pair of goals from Nathan Horton en route to Thursday's win at Tampa Bay Times Forum. Horton has six goals this season, putting him three scores behind Brad Marchand for the team lead.

Marchand and Patrice Bergeron each contributed a goal and an assist to Boston's cause in Tampa, while Tuukka Rask made 24 saves in the win.

The Bruins scored two goals on their first four shots of the game. First, Horton put home a rebound from the left circle at the 1:11 mark. Bergeron extended Boston's margin just over two minutes later. Marchand's nice feed from behind the net led to Bergeron's third goal of the season.

"We had a good start," Horton said. "I think that's what carried us throughout the game."

The Bruins and Panthers split four meetings against each other in 2011-12, but Boston has claimed six of the last eight encounters in this series. Florida has lost eight of its past 10 home tilts versus the Bruins.

Florida also has lost six of its last seven games, compiling a 1-3-3 record during that stretch. The Panthers recorded a 5-2 win at Philadelphia on Thursday, but suffered a 3-1 setback the following night in Pittsburgh.

The Penguins outshot Florida by a 40-23 margin on Friday and Pittsburgh won thanks to third-period goals from Matt Niskanen and Dustin Jeffrey.

With the teams even at 1-1, the Panthers failed to clear the zone after killing a penalty and Niskanen fired a slap shot from the blue line that beat AHL call-up Jacob Markstrom at the 7:49 mark. Jeffrey tapped in Matt Cooke's cross-ice pass at the left post with 4:45 to play.

Markstrom finished with 37 saves for Florida and he could get the start again on Sunday.

"Second period we lost our legs and (Markstrom) made a big difference," said Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen. "He did a good job of coming up big when we needed him."

The Panthers have played the last five games without forward Kris Versteeg (chest) and he is questionable for Sunday's contest.

Florida is playing the first of three straight on home ice and will try to halt a four-game losing streak at the BB&T Center. The Panthers are just 2-3-3 as the host this season.