BOSTON — The Boston Bruins have played solid defense for most of the past three weeks.

Add in strong goaltending from Tuukka Rask and it’s led the way to a nice run.

Ryan Spooner scored twice and Rask stopped 26 shots Saturday to lift the Bruins to a 3-1 victory against the Florida Panthers.

“Tuukka’s been like we’re used to seeing,” Coach Claude Julien said. “He’s been solid. There’s no doubt he would have liked that goal back. He played capable enough to deserve a shutout. He’s been solid. He’s had a rough start to the season but he’s regained his game and he’s been confident, and certainly given us a chance to win every time he’s been in the net.”

Backed by the strong stretch from Rask, the Bruins posted their eighth win in 11 games (8-1-2). Rask is 6-0-2 in his past eight starts.

Rask held the Panthers scoreless until Reilly Smith fired a slap shot from the right point that broke between his pads with 6:04 to play.

“Playing better, seeing the puck better, feeling better, probably,” Rask said of his stretch. “We’re playing a lot better, too, and that helps a lot. We’re not giving up a ton of scoring chances.”

Brad Marchand sealed it with an empty-net goal, firing from center ice with 1:23 left.

Roberto Luongo made 22 saves for the Panthers, who lost for the third time in four games. They are winless in their past nine meetings in Boston (0-8-1).

“It was a pretty flat game. It was a defensive-minded game and there wasn’t a whole lot of scoring chances,” Florida Coach Gerard Gallant said. “Fortunately for them they got that first goal and it held up for quite a while, and we just didn’t generate enough.”

Most of the Panthers’ shots came from the outside.

“There wasn’t much out there,” Smith said. “I felt like we didn’t play our game right from the get-go. I felt like they controlled the pace and we let them off the hook.”

Coming off a confidence-building win at Montreal on Wednesday, the Bruins grabbed a 1-0 lead with 8:35 left in the first.

Torey Krug took a shot from the left point and Spooner, near the left circle, redirected it past Luongo. The call stood after a video review to see if ther was a high stick.

Boston made it 2-0 on Spooner’s power-play goal eight minutes into the second. With Aaron Ekblad off for tripping, the Bruins kept the puck in the zone for the entire advantage – getting about four or five excellent chances – before Spooner slipped a wrister between Luongo’s pads from the right circle.

Luongo kept it at a two-goal deficit, robbing David Krejci with a glove stop in the closing seconds of the second.

For most of the first two periods, the Bruins limited Florida’s chances, keeping them deep and outside the center of the ice. The Panthers had just 13 shots on goal after two.

“It was definitely close to a 60-minute effort,” Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg said.