Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

SUNRISE, FL - APRIL 21: Teammates congratulate Taylor Hall #71 of the Boston Bruins after he scored a first 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)

The Boston Bruins followed up perhaps their worst game of the entire season with one of their best, grabbing a 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena, in a convincing effort that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated. The Bruins now have a 2-1 lead over the Panthers in their best-of-seven playoff series.

Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery made numerous changes in his forward lines and defensive pairs, and had to replace David Krejci as a last-minute scratch. The B’s responded big-time, making better decisions with the puck and playing a much cleaner, more structured defensive game that smothered the Panthers for the majority of the 60 minute. Boston allowed just 12 shots on goal through the first two periods, and out-shot Florida 35-31 on the night.

  • The Bruins got off to a fast start in the first period, with a much cleaner game than they showed in Game 2, and it paid off early. After gaining the offensive zone during a Panthers line change, Taylor Hall let one rip and beat Panthers goaltender Alex Lyon glove-side to give the B’s a 1-0 lead just 2:26 into the game.

    Bruins defenseman Dmitry Orlov made a heads-up play to push the ice up the ice for Hall while the Panthers were switching out their forwards. Hall has now scored the last two consecutive goals for the Bruins, going back to Game 2 in Boston.

  • The Panthers soon got their feet under them, resulting in a more evenly matched first period after the Hall goal. Florida held a 2-0 advantage in high-danger scoring chances at 5-on-5, but shots overall were 8-7. Both teams successfully killed off a penalty, leaving it at just 1-0 Bruins after one.

    Exactly six minutes into the second period, the Bruins struck again. This is where head coach Jim Montgomery’s lineup changes paid off for him: Brad Marchand fires the puck on net, as he’s consistently done all season, and times it well with Charlie Coyle as the center jockeyed for his position at the net-front.

    Coyle got a piece of the shot, and it deflected up and over Lyon’s shoulder to extend the Bruins’ lead to 2-0.

  • The Bruins regained significant traction in the second, as they ended up out-shooting the Panthers 12-4 in the period and taking their 2-0 lead to the intermission. And they only further extended the lead into the third period.

    Orlov sparked the third Boston goal with another sharp, deep outlet pass to David Pastrnak, who got a free run at Lyon and beat him through his left pad to make it 3-0.

  • Pastrnak’s goal chased Lyon from the game, as Panthers head coach turned to Sergei Bobrovsky. The onslaught only continued. Just 3:13 later in the third, Hall centered the puck on a rush for Nick Foligno, who finished at the doorstep going forehand to backhand, to extend the lead to 4-0.

  • The Panthers made it semi-interesting late in the third. They finally found the back of the net with 5:19 left in regulation with. Gustav Forsling shorthanded goal, then Sam Reinhart just 1:18 later. But the Bruins stuck to their defensive structure and were able to sit on the two-goal lead from there, seizing control of the series and restoring home-ice advantage with an impressive win.

    Up Next: The Bruins and Panthers will drop the puck again on Sunday for Game 4, with a start time of 3:30 p.m. ET.

    Click here for complete Boston Bruins coverage at 985TheSportsHub.com.

    Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. Check out all of Matt’s content here.

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