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Smith's late goal lifts Bruins past Panthers

Sunrise, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Reilly Smith scored with 58.7 seconds to play as the Boston Bruins escaped with a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers on Thursday.

Daniel Paille and Dougie Hamilton scored the other two goals, while Tuukka Rask stopped 27 shots for the Bruins, who have won four of six to start the season.

"Can't say I'm pleased with our game tonight," said Boston head coach Claude Julien. "We started letting up a bit and probably got away from our game, started getting a little cute."

Jesse Winchester and Kris Versteeg had the goals for the Panthers, who have dropped their past three.

Former Bruin Tim Thomas faced the team he won a Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe trophy with in 2011, and took the loss after allowing all three goals on 40 shots.

"We lost some faceoffs in our zone and they made us pay for that," said Florida head coach Kevin Dineen. "I liked our last 40 minutes, but the first period might have been our worst of the year."

Trailing by a goal, Florida had tied the game at the 14-minute mark after a left circle faceoff win saw Winchester tip in a Nick Bjugstad shot.

Boston, though, took a 3-2 lead with 58.7 seconds left as a broken play saw the puck get through several players in front, with Smith backhanding it in from the left side for his first goal of the season.

Florida got Thomas out of the net late, but was unable to score the equalizer.

Boston took a 1-0 lead at 3:45 of the first period on Paille's first of the season, and made it 2-0 with 7:13 left thanks to Hamilton's power-play goal.

Versteeg scored his second of the year on a wrister at 12:32 of the second period to make it a 2-1 game.

Game Notes

Thomas had played with the Bruins from 2002 through 2012, and sat out the lockout-shortened season before signing the Panthers this past offseason ... Boston plays in Tampa Bay on Saturday ... Florida hosts Minnesota on Saturday ... Boston won all three games against Florida last season ... Boston was 1- for-3 on the power play, while Florida was 0-for-1.

10/18 00:55:18 ET

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