Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

SUNRISE, FLORIDA - MAY 14: Morgan Geekie #39 of the Boston Bruins celebrates with teammates after a goal during the first period against the Florida Panthers in Game Five of the Second Round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amerant Bank Arena on May 14, 2024 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

The Boston Bruins are still alive.

Facing elimination entering a do-or-die Game 5, the Bruins started strong and got an outstanding clutch performance from goaltender Jeremy Swayman to beat the Florida Panthers 2-1 on Tuesday night, forcing a Game 6 in Boston. Defenseman Charlie McAvoy scored the eventual game-winning goal in the second period, while Swayman stopped 28-of-29 Panthers shots (.966) in the win.

The Bruins grabbed six of the first seven shots on goal to begin the game, as they generated an active forecheck and sustained offensive zone time to start this must-win contest. And they cashed in, as Morgan Geekie took a centering pass from Jake DeBrusk in front of Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and patiently deked around him for an easy backhand into the net and a 1-0 lead.

  • Boston out-shot Florida 13-4 in the opening period, a welcome departure from the norm for them throughout the series and a product of their consistent offensive attack.

    In the middle of the second period, the Panthers found a way to answer, after getting a stern talking-to from head coach Paul Maurice. Winger Sam Reinhart got just enough on the puck from the slot to beat Swayman over his glove hand and tie the game 1-1 with the rebound goal.

  • The tie at that point was relatively short-lived, as the Bruins would regain the lead just over four minutes later. Demonstrating sound puck movement from end to end, the B’s finished off a rush with McAvoy ripping it past Bobrovsky from the slot to make it 2-1 Bruins.

    Florida challenged for goaltender interference on the play, but just like Sam Bennett’s controversial goal in Game 4, the score stood.

  • Despite maintaining their one-goal lead through 40 minutes, the Bruins were out-shot 15-9 in the second period, as the Panthers got their formidable forecheck going and the B’s started to struggle with their puck management in their own end.

    The Bruins managed to hold that 2-1 lead throughout the third period, despite getting out-shot again, this time by a 10-6 margin. The Panthers threatened late, with their goalie pulled, but Swayman came up huge to make a clutch save on Reinhart with just nine seconds left in regulation. The B’s cleared it, and the clock ran out to give them the season-saving win.

  • The teams will now get two days between games to regroup. Game 6 between the Bruins and Panthers takes place Friday night at TD Garden. The start time is yet to be announced.

    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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