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Panthers shut out Bruins to stay in playoff hunt

RADEK Dvorak scored back-to-back third-period goals and Tomas Vokoun made 41 saves as the Florida Panthers shut out the Boston Bruins 2-0 yesterday.

Dvorak scored a short-handed goal 1:44 into the third period and found net again five minutes later against the Eastern Conference-leading Bruins.

Officials stopped play after the second goal to determine whether Boston's Patrice Bergeron had scored against a sprawled-out Vokoun before Dvorak tallied at the other end.

Video review showed the puck had lodged between Vokoun's legs, denying Bergeron a goal.

"I knew he was going to try and wrap it so I just wanted to get my body in the way," Vokoun told reporters. "Sometimes you get good fortune and that one was a lot of luck. It was a key moment. It could have been 1-1."

Vokoun's shutout was his second in three games and sixth of the season to keep Florida in the tight race for a playoff spot.

The Panthers, Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers all have 68 points and would be the final three Eastern Conference teams to make the playoffs if the season ended today.

"(Vokoun) is playing great for us," Dvorak told reporters. "With goaltending like this, we have to take advantage of that. He's giving us a chance to win every game."

Boston head the conference on 88 points but have lost five of their last six games.

The warm Florida weather may even have played a role in the latest defeat, Vokoun revealed.

"We read the papers and knew about Boston having a good time here (golfing and fishing)," Vokoun said. "We wanted to take advantage of it."


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