1/23/97 -- 11:30 PM

Panthers-Bruins,


BOSTON (AP) - When his team spotted the Florida Panthers a 2-0 lead, Boston center Adam Oates knew the Bruins were in trouble.

``They are a very tough team to come from behind on,'' Oates said. ``The Panthers are a very fundamentally sound hockey team.''

And one with another win.

Radek Dvorak had two goals and an assist and John Vanbiesbrouck made 28 saves Thursday night, leading Florida to a 4-1 win over Boston, snapping the Panthers' four-game losing streak.

``Last year when we went through a slump we weren't playing good hockey,'' Vanbiesbrouck said. ``In our slump this year we played good but we just couldn't seem to get a win.''

Ray Sheppard added a goal and two assists as Florida won for only the fifth time in their last 13 road games.

``Our guys were really focused tonight,'' Panthers coach Doug MacLean said. ``We bounced back from a tough loss Wednesday at Hartford.''

Boston has lost six of its last eight and three straight at home.

``It's been a real disappointment the way we have played on home ice,'' Bruins coach Steve Kasper said. ``You have to earn the home-ice advantage, it takes more than just going out to play.''

Vanbiesbrouck has allowed two or fewer goals in 20 of 33 appearances this season.

``He's not flashy, but he is always in perfect position to make the stop,'' said Boston's Ray Bourque. ``He makes it look easy.''

Rhett Warrener gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead at 6:07 of the first period as he scored his first goal of the season on a power-play.

Sheppard put the Panthers up 2-0 at 14:38 of the first period when he poked in a rebound of a Dvorak shot for his 19th goal.

Ray Bourque took advantage of Boston's power-play opportunity at 16:23 of the opening period to score his seventh goal of the season, trimming Florida's lead to 2-1.

Dvorak slapped in the rebound of a Johan Garpenlov shot at 11:19 of the second period to give Florida a 3-1 lead. It was Dvorak's 11th goal of the season.

Dvorak's second goal of the game came at 5:15 of the third period on a wrist shot from the right face-off circle.

Both teams were 1-5 in power play opportunities.

Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.