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Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

SUNRISE, FL - APRIL 21: Teammates congratulate Charlie Coyle #13 of the Boston Bruins after he scored a second period goal against the Florida Panthers in Game Three of the First Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the FLA Live Arena on April 21, 2023 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

There’s not an MBTA train in sight, but Jim Montgomery and the Bruins brought their CharlieCard down to Sunrise all the same, as it was the one-two punch of Charlie Coyle and Charlie McAvoy that powered to the Bruins to a downright dominant 4-2 victory in Friday’s Game 3 showdown at FLA Live Arena.

“We saw across Boston Bruins hockey today and whether Bergy and Krejci were playing, we needed everybody to start playing,” Montgomery said following the team’s Game 3 win. “I felt we had some passengers, [but] tonight we didn’t have any passengers. So that mindset was great to see. And I thought Charlie McAvoy really set the tone with the big hit to start the game, and I thought everybody just followed suit.”

The Bruins also chased Panthers netminder Alex Lyon for the first time all series, with three goals on 26 shots. Lyon’s exit paved the way for Sergei Bobrovsky’s first game action in almost a month (Mar. 27), who stopped eight of the nine shots thrown in his way in almost eight minutes of garbage-time relief.

B’s netminder Linus Ullmark, meanwhile, overcame his gametime decision status and turned aside 31 of the 33 shots thrown his way for the victory.

Here are the 98.5 The Sports Hub (dot com) 3 Stars from a Game 3 win in Sunrise

  • No. 3 Star: Dmitry Orlov

    Apr 21, 2023; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak (88) celebrates with defenseman Dmitry Orlov (81) after scoring during the third period against the Florida Panthers in game three of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at FLA Live Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

    Apr 21, 2023; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak (88) celebrates with defenseman Dmitry Orlov (81) after scoring during the third period against the Florida Panthers in game three of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at FLA Live Arena. (Sam Navarro/USA TODAY Sports)

  • After two games with Charlie McAvoy to his right, the Bruins decided to mix things up and move defenseman Dmitry Orlov down to the third pairing, where he could ‘drive’ his own pairing with Derek Forbort by his side.

    The result: Two sharpshooter-style stretch passes that hit Taylor Hall in the first period and David Pastrnak in the third frame for all-alone strikes on the Panthers’ Alex Lyon on the way to a victory.

  • Just some absolute missiles.

    And with Orlov catching the Florida defense napping from a zone away on both occasions, too.

    This has been written about and talked about it at great length at this point, I know, but this is the luxury of being the 2023 Bruins. It’s essentially the Bruins telling their opponents, “Think you can handle McAvoy on the top pairing and Hampus Lindholm on the second pair? Word, here comes Orlov on the third pair” vibes from the team.

    It’s just a ridiculous strength of this team, and you saw it play out with Orlov remaining a massive presence even in a third-pairing role, Orlov played over 21 minutes between his deployment and some in-game mixing and matching.

  • No. 2 Star: Charlie McAvoy

    Apr 13, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy (73) prepares for a face off against the Montreal Canadiens during the third period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

    Apr 13, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy (73) prepares for a face off against the Montreal Canadiens during the third period at the Bell Centre. (Eric Bolte/USA TODAY Sports)

  • Without both Bergeron and Krejci, the team’s two most experienced playoff presences on the ice and on the bench, available to the B’s in Game 3, the team had an undeniable leadership void to fill in this game.

    Charlie McAvoy saw that and delivered in the way the Bruins needed.

    McAvoy began the Bruins’ night with a heavy hit on the Panthers’ Eetu Luostarinen mere seconds into puck drop, and added another in the third period with a heavy hit on Florida’s Anton Lundell. That second lowering of the boom caused the Panthers to simply lose it in a game that was not theirs.

  • Credited with a team-high eight hits in his Boston-leading 25:21 of time on ice, McAvoy was the force the Bruins needed him to be. This was the case at both ends of the rink, too, as the Bruins held an on-ice edge in shot attempts (26-12), shots (13-4), and goals (1-0) during McAvoy’s 18 minutes and change of five-on-five play.

    Montgomery described it as “spearheading the attitude that the Bruins needed.”

  • No. 1 Star: Charlie Coyle

    Apr 21, 2023; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Boston Bruins center Charlie Coyle (13) celebrates with left wing Brad Marchand (63) after scoring during the second period against the Florida Panthers in game three of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at FLA Live Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

    Apr 21, 2023; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Boston Bruins center Charlie Coyle (13) celebrates with left wing Brad Marchand (63) after scoring during the second period against the Florida Panthers in game three of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at FLA Live Arena. (Sam Navarro/USA TODAY Sports)

  • Going from the third line to the first line — and not by design, but by necessity — in less than a week’s time could overwhelm someone. That someone isn’t Charlie Coyle, though, as the Weymouth, Mass. native put forth a simply monstrous effort from a center depth chart missing both Bergeron and Krejci in Game 3.

    Deployed for 16:53 of action, the 6-foot-3 Coyle simply got it done at both ends all night long, and was rightly rewarded for his efforts with a goal on one of his team-leading five shots on goal.

    “[Coyle] just seemed like he was a monster,” Montgomery said. “He was a man possessed out there [with] the way he just took pucks to the net. Loved him in the faceoff dot. I thought he controlled the middle of the ice, and I thought at both goal lines, he made really good plays. He ended plays in our zone, he made plays in their zone.”

  • Targeted by the Panthers throughout the night — with the Bruins hurting at the center position and with Coyle looking like Boston’s best center all series, can you blame ’em for trying? — Coyle didn’t stop pushing, and parked himself right on Alex Lyon’s doorstep for Boston’s second goal of the evening.

    “I think was it was on that second goal, right being at the net front there, that’s that’s a real good sign for us offensively,” said Montgomery. “But it’s also a good sign for him that he’s in those areas.That’s where he scores.”

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