Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

May 10, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Florida Panthers center Carter Verhaeghe (23) smiles as he is hugged by left wing Matthew Tkachuk (19) after scoring on Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) and defenseman Brandon Carlo (25) during the second period of game three of the second round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Bruins may already have their backs against the wall.

The Florida Panthers prowled into TD Garden Friday night and mostly outclassed the Bruins in Game 3 of their best-of-seven Stanley Cup Playoff series, winning by a 6-2 final. The B’s made things a little interesting in the third period, as they cut a four-goal deficit down to two, but the damage was already done, and the Panthers eventually pulled away again.

Florida out-shot Boston 33-16 on the night. Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman stopped 27-of-32 shots in the defeat. Game 4 is set for Sunday night at TD Garden, with a slightly early start time of 6:30 p.m. ET.

Bruins-Panthers Game 3 Highlights

The Panthers opened the scoring for the second time in three games in the series, this time with winger Evan Rodrigues batting the puck out of the air and in, while avoiding a high-stick call. Bruins forward Pavel Zacha sparked the play with a turnover, as he went for an ill-advised no-look backhand pass into the slot area, and was off the mark.

The Panthers finished the first period with that same 1-0 lead, while out-shooting the Bruins 13-3. A small segment of fans at TD Garden booed the B’s for their efforts.

  • It didn’t get any better for the Bruins in the second period. They were able to sustain offensive zone time for the first time all night, generating multiple high-danger chances in the process. But soon after, the puck went down to their end and defenseman Mason Lohrei took a double-minor for high-sticking, giving the Panthers a 4-minute power play.

    And the Panthers struck big-time. First, Vladimir Tarasenko beat Swayman’s glove hand with a missile from the faceoff dot to make it 2-0. Because the penalty was a double-minor, the Panthers stayed on the power play after this goal.

  • Exactly one minute after the Tarasenko tally, the Panthers made it 3-0 after Matthew Tkachuk fed Carter Verhaeghe at the doorstep for a tip-in. By the end of the period, some of the fans in TD Garden booed the Bruins as they left the ice, and the rest seemed to be in stunned silence.

  • In one of the game’s more surreal moments, the officials whistled Bruins forward Jakub Lauko for goaltender interference as he rushed in with the puck, on a play that clearly could’ve been either matching penalties or no penalties at all. Fans reacted by throwing debris on the ice, causing a brief delay.

  • Unfortunately, it went from bad to worse for the Bruins. Panthers defenseman Brandon Montour beat Swayman blocker-side with a bomb from the point to extend the lead to 4-0.

  • Lauko was able to get some modicum of revenge on the officials later in the third period. As they were ready to make a call against the Panthers, Lauko managed to score during the delayed call to finally get the B’s on the board at 4-1.

  • Jake DeBrusk suddenly made things interesting later in the third, as he ripped one past Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky on an odd-man rush to cut the deficit to 4-2. Lohrei made a nice heads-up feed with his back to the net to spring DeBrusk for the goal, his second tally of the series.

    The Bruins couldn’t capitalize on a late power play, and the Panthers ultimately scored two more late goals to put this one away.

    Matt Dolloff is a writer and digital content producer for 98.5 The Sports Hub. Read all of his articles here.

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