In Game 3, the Panthers Defeat the Bruins to Take the Series Lead

In Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at TD Garden on Friday, the Florida Panthers defeated the Boston Bruins 6-2, netting four goals on the power play to seize the lead in the series.

Having gone 1 for 9 in the previous two games of the series, the Panthers finally turned things around, going 4 for 6. During a four-minute double minor in the second period, they scored twice.

Panthers coach Paul Maurice stated, “I’ve been more bullish on our power play than the stats, or at least the goals, would tell you I should be.” “But our analytics on expected goals for on our power play are very, very high. So, it’s easy to say now, ‘Well it’s just a matter of time,’ but if you keep doing the right things over and over, you’re [going to] have a good night.”

For Florida, the top seed in the Atlantic Division, Sergei Bobrovsky made 15 saves while Evan Rodrigues scored twice. Matthew Tkachuk had three assists, while Brandon Montour scored a goal and provided an assist.

Tkachuk remarked, “I just thought we were skating very well.” “Getting in on the forecheck but having good sticks, breaking up plays, being physical when needed. Forwards working back for [defensemen], [defensemen] having good gaps to help out the forwards. Just all that stuff that makes us successful.”

For Boston, the No. 2 seed from the Atlantic, Jeremy Swayman made 27 saves while Jake DeBrusk scored and assisted. After taking a hit from Sam Bennett in the opening frame, Brad Marchand, a forward with the Boston Bruins, continued to play in the first and second periods but was sidelined for the third due to an upper-body injury.

Coach Jim Montgomery of the Bruins stated, “We’ve had a couple of games where we started slow and didn’t generate much offense.” “We’ve got to get better. I have to give the players a better plan. Florida was significantly better than us, and I’ve got to come up with a better game plan.”

At 8:04 in the first period, Rodrigues scored the first goal for the Panthers by batting the puck in front of Swayman out of the air.

At 14:37 of the second quarter, Bruins defenseman Mason Lohrei was given a double minor for high-sticking, and the Panthers took advantage to increase their lead.

At 16:14, Vladimir Tarasenko scored a power-play goal from the left circle to make it 2-0. He beat Swayman with a wrist shot.

At 17:14, during the same power play, Carter Verhaeghe increased the lead to 3-0 by blocking Tkachuk’s centering pass at the net front.

“It’s nice to have two goals on the power play,” Tarasenko remarked. “It’s a big moment of the game, and we talk a lot about building momentum.”

made it 4-0 with a one-timer from the point during the power play at 3:09 of the third quarter.

At 5:01, Jakub Lauko scored his first NHL playoff goal, a snap shot from the left circle, cutting the lead to 4-1.

At 8:31, DeBrusk made it 4-2 by defeating Bobrovsky on a 3-on-1 rush with a wrist shot from the left circle.

“You want to win every game and it’s one of those things that you just try to feel the frustration, to be honest with you,” according to DeBrusk. “I think it’s a good thing to feel a little bit of it. Obviously, you don’t want it to let it take over your mind or think about things that are out of your control.”

After a penalty for interference by Niko Mikkola at 11:24, the Bruins had a chance to close the gap to one goal. However, at 12:20, Dmitry Kulikov made a crucial block to stop David Pastrnak’s one-timer from the right circle, extending his leg to deflect the shot away from goal while Bobrovsky was injured. For the power play to stay ahead by two goals, Bobrovsky made four saves.

“I thought our [defensemen] played phenomenal,” stated Rodrigues. “Their gaps were incredible and they were heavy today. And when they’re asserting themselves like they are, it makes us a really good team and I thought from the back end out, we were really good.”

It was now 5-2 at 18:36 thanks to an empty-net goal from Sam Reinhart.

At 19:09, during the power play, Rodrigues scored a one-time goal from the left circle to seal the 6-2 victory.

Swayman declared, “We’re going to do whatever we need to do for these fans and our locals.” “So, we’re really excited for this next game.”

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