Bruins stay alive, defeat Panthers to force Game 6 in Boston

SUNRISE — With their backs against the wall and on the brink of elimination, the Boston Bruins kept their season alive on Tuesday night, defeating the Florida Panthers 2-1 in Game 5 at Amerant Bank Arena. 


Charlie McAvoy scored the game winning goal midway through the second period and Jeremy Swayman shut the door the rest of the way out, giving up just one goal on 29 shots. 


The Bruins’ win pushes this series to a Game 6 in Boston on Friday, May 17. 


Florida still leads the series 3-2 and will have another chance to move on with a win at the TD Garden — where they’ve won five consecutive playoff games. 


Morgan Geekie got the game going when he opened the scoring with his fourth goal of the playoffs 4:49 into the first.


The Bruins would take a 1-0 lead to the break and a 13-4 shot advantage — their most in a single period all series. 


“I didn’t like our first,” Panthers head coach Paul Maurice said post game. “And good for (Boston) right. 110-109 (Panthers -Bruins season point totals), they should have a good first. 


In the second, the Panthers equalized after Sam Reinhart scored his fifth goal of the playoffs 6:23 into the frame. 


Four minutes after Reinhart tied the game, Charlie McAvoy grabbed the lead back for the Bruins, scoring his first goal of the playoffs to put Boston up 2-1. 


Florida would challenge the play for goaltender interference, however the goal stood following review.


Over the next 30 minutes, both teams would have their respective chances, but the goaltenders stood on their head to give their teams a chance.


Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky had 26 saves on 28 shots in the loss. 


“He’s been exceptional all year for us,” Panthers forward Kevin Stenlund said of Bobrovsky. “He kept us in it, especially that first half. 


Despite seven combined power plays in the game, neither team could find the back of the net on the man-advantage. 


The Bruins were 0/3 while the Panthers went 0/4 — two of which came in the third period. 


Boston returns home to a similar situation that the Panthers faced against them in last season’s first-round. After going down 3-1, the Panthers defeated the Bruins on the road — winning the game by one goal to force a Game 6 at home. Florida went onto win Game 6 and then forced a Game 7 back in Boston, which they won in overtime.


The Bruins held a 3-1 lead in this year’s first-round to the Toronto Maple Leafs, before dropping two straight. They would win Game 7 in overtime to move on.

There will two days off between games before the Bruins play hosts to the Panthers on Friday night, for Game 6 at the TD Garden in Boston. 

Panthers-Bruins Game 5: Morning skate edition

FORT LAUDERDALE — The Florida Panthers are back in Sunrise tonight, with a chance to book their ticket to the Eastern Conference Finals. 


Leading 3-1 in their series against the Bruins, Florida is keeping the same lineup they had for the past two wins in Boston. 


“I don’t think too much changes,” Carter Verhaeghe said going into the elimination game. “We just got to keep on doing what we’re doing and playing the right way, trying to stick to what we do best in our game.”


Both Sam Reinhart and Vladimir Tarasenko remain in the lineup after getting dinged up at the end of Game 4.


Sergei Bobrovsky is set to make his tenth consecutive start of this postseason. 


Going back to last season, the Panthers have won their last two home-ice series clinching games (Carolina 2023, Tampa 2024).


If the Panthers were to close out the series on Tuesday, they’ll face the winner of the Rangers – Hurricanes series (Rangers lead 3-2). 


No matter who wins in the other series, if they advance, the Panthers would begin the Eastern Conference Finals on the road as they finished the season with fewer points than both Carolina and New York.


The Bruins will be without their captain Brad Marchand (upper-body) for a second consecutive game, per Amalie Benjamin of


Projected Lines 










Bobrovsky (Confirmed Starter)


Game 5 is Tuesday, May 14, at 7 p.m.

Panthers take 3-1 series lead after Game 4 win in Boston

After scoring two unanswered goals to tie the game, Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov had the game winner as Florida took down the Boston Bruins 3-2 at the TD Garden on Sunday night. 


The Panthers will take a 3-1 series lead back to Sunrise, with a chance to advance on Tuesday night after they took the Bruins down in both games 3 and 4 on the road. 


Entering Sunday’s matchup there was a lot of discourse ahead of the 6:30 p.m. puck drop in Boston. 


The big storyline entering Game 4 was not about the Bruins getting outscored 12-3 in the past two games, or being outshot 2-1 in each of those games, it was about the Sam Bennett hit on Brad Marchand. 


To be clear, the Bruins had a right to be upset regarding the hit — a new replay angle which was shown on TNT just 30 minutes before the game visibly showed Bennett catching Marchand with a fist to the face in the first period of Game 3.  


Marchand didn’t play in Game 4, but the reasoning behind his upper-body injury hasn’t been disclosed yet and there’s a possibility he could’ve picked that up on a play separate from Bennett, as the Bruins captain did stay in the game until the start of the third. 


The league didn’t think Bennett needed any supplemental discipline, so he was in the lineup for the Panthers.


With that being said, It should come to nobody’s surprise that the Bruins came out of the gates on Sunday with a mission.

Trailing the series on home ice, Boston needed to be the hungrier team and they were that at the start.


On the first shift of the game, Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy steamrolled Sam Reinhart at open ice — getting the Boston faithful on their feet and buzzing just seconds into the game. 


The Bruins fed off the crowd and early physicality, scoring twice in the first period, off a power play goal from David Pastrnak and a point shot from Brandon Carlo. 


They went into the intermission up 2-0.


Florida was being outscored, but they weren’t being outplayed.


The Panthers led in the shots department 15-5 after the first period, but they weren’t able to get past Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman.


Despite trailing by multiple goals, the Panthers didn’t stray away from their game and they were finally rewarded when Anton Lundell scored his first goal of the playoffs with 5:12 remaining in the second. 


“The first goal was obviously huge for our team,” Lundell said. “We had some good chances early in the game but it’s hard to score in the playoffs. We just stuck with it, got some more chances and finally it went in.”


Down one entering the final period of regulation and holding a 28-16 shot advantage, you could feel the tying goal coming and it did — but not without some controversy. 


The biggest enemy in Boston entering Sunday was without a doubt Sam Bennett for his hit on Boston’s captain. 


So of course Bennett tied the game in an extremely controversial fashion. 


With the Panthers on the power play, Bennett tucked away a rebound on the doorstep of the Bruins crease — evening things up at 2-2 just 3:41 into the third. 


The replay showed that Bennett shoved Bruins forward Charlie Coyle into Jeremey Swayman before he put away his second goal of the postseason. 


Boston would challenge the play for goaltender interference and the consensus in the building was that the goal would come back — it didn’t.


To the Bruins surprise, they lost the challenge. 


The NHL’s situation room in Toronto deemed that there wasn’t goaltender interference and the goal would stand. 


Panthers coach Paul Maurice was asked postgame, “hand on the Bible, were you surprised that goal counted from Bennett?” 


“No,” Maurice responded in a not so enthusiastic tone. “I will have an opinion and it would be no, in that, it will have no impact on the play of the game… the contact between the two is not egregious at all.”


Carrying the momentum of two unanswered goals, the Panthers captain would put his team on his back once again — this time with a highlight reel goal.


With 12:30 to play in regulation, Aleksander Barkov tucked his shoulder and breezed past three Bruins defenders before roofing the puck over Swayman’s shoulder, giving the Panthers their first lead of the game.


“It’s incredible,” Sam Bennett said of Barkov’s game winner. “It’s so much fun to watch Barky play hockey. I think for anyone else that’s a career highlight goal and for him it’s just another day in the office. It’s pretty remarkable what he can do.”  


Barkov’s 13 playoff points (5 goals, 8 assists) is tied for the team lead with Matthew Tkachuk.


It was another tough night for the Bruins offense. They put just 18 shots on Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky — with only two total in the third period. 

Since Game 2, Boston has been outshot 107-50.


The Panthers are 2-0 at the TD Garden this series and have won their last five playoff games in Boston dating back to last season. 


Florida returns home with a 3-1 lead and can end the series on Tuesday night in Sunrise — which would get them back to the Eastern Conference Finals for a second consecutive season.

Discourse on Bennett-Marchand hit continues ahead of Game 4

There will be a hockey game later tonight in Boston — an important one for both sides as the Panthers lead the series 2-1.


However, over the last 24 hours, the hockey world’s attention has been zeroed in on the Sam Bennett – Brad Marchand incident.


For those who have been off the grid since Friday night, in the first period of Game 3, Marchand attempted to hit Bennett in the neutral zone, but the Panthers forward saw him coming and reversed the hit — knocking the Bruins captain to the ice.


Marchand was visibly shaken up, but stayed in the game for the first and second periods. He would not return for the third. 


On Friday night, there wasn’t really any discourse regarding the hit from the Bruins bench. 


Nobody reacted, nobody went after Bennett and the game played out.


That would change the next day.


Everyone saw the hit in real time, but a few different angles of the play slowed down began circulating — which brings us to where we are today. 


Some believe Bennett “sucker punched” Marchand in the head as he was countering the Bruins forward’s attempt to lay the body. 


The day after the game, Bruins head coach Jim Montgoomery made it clear that he believes Bennett knew what he was doing on the play.


“Having seen it, there’s a history there with Bennett,” Montgomery said on Saturday. “There’s clearly evidence of what went on and people can say it wasn’t intentional. We have our view of it.”


On the other hand, Panthers head coach Paul Maurice thought the complete opposite of his Bruins counterpart.  


“No, no, and I don’t think most of you would’ve either,” Maurice responded when asked if he thought Bennett punched Marchand. “It was just a collision. In a perfect world, every team has everybody healthy, nobody likes to see anybody get hurt.”


The NHL’s Department of Player Safety appeared to share a similar view to that of Maurice’s as Bennett would not receive any supplemental discipline from the league.


While both coaches and the league let their opinions be known, the discourse continued in the hours leading up to Sunday’s Game 4. 


Boston announced that Marchand would not play on Sunday due to an upper-body injury. He’s currently day-to-day. 


Montgomery followed up where he left off on Saturday, letting his opinion on Bennett’s hit known after Boston’s morning skate on Sunday.


“I don’t think I classified it as dirty, I just thought it was outside lines,” Montgomery told the media. “I think it was someone that plays the game on the edge and he knew what he was doing. I don’t know if you’ve seen the picture from behind, but clearly he loaded up.”


Montgomery was then asked why his team didn’t retaliate as the hit took place in front of Boston’s bench and if Marchand was concussed on the play. 


While the status of Marchand’s health wasn’t fully disclosed,  Montgommery did answer why there was no response from his team.


“I feel it’s my fault that we didn’t retaliate to some degree,” Montgomery responded. “You’re trying to get back in a game, it’s 1-0 up until they get the four-minute power play. Then we start the third and score right away. Now we’ve got the juices going. There’s reasons why we didn’t. That’s something I personally take responsibility for.”


Game 4 is a big one for both sides, but the situation seems a bit more dire for the home team, especially since they’ll be without their captain.


Trailing 2-1 in the series, the Bruins have been outscored 12-3 in the past two games while being outshot 66-32.


A Bruins loss would have them down 3-1 in the series and it would give the Panthers three straight opportunities to move onto the Eastern Conference Final — two of those being at home in Sunrise. 

‘None of that will matter once the puck drops tonight’: Panthers mindful of success in Boston, but aren’t living in the past

It’s going to be hard to follow up the entertainment value that was seen on Wednesday night in Sunrise. 

Game 2 was about as fun as you can have if you were a neutral, or fan of the home team. 


148 penalty minutes — 12 of those being game misconducts — seven goals, Brandon Montour mocking Brad Marchand with a licking gesture (look up Marchand – Callahan, 2018 playoffs) and, Matthew Tkachuk and David Pastrnak putting forth their best “Doug Glatt” impressions in front of 19,000 plus at Amerant Bank Arena. 


“If you paid money to come to the rink tonight, you got a hell of a night,” Panthers head coach Paul Maurice said after Game 2.


As for the two superstars fighting, the Panthers boss had a similar opinion.


“They each have their team, they got their brothers in the room,it gets a little spicy out there and they want to go,” Maurice added. “I think it was awesome.” 


Both teams had their respective moments so far in the series. In Game 1, Boston walked over Florida in a 5-1 victory. The Panthers would answer the bell with a 6-1 walloping of the Bruins at home in Game 2.  


Now the series shifts to Boston, with Game 3 on Friday night at the TD Garden.


The last time these two sides met in a playoff game in Boston, it was Florida that ended the Bruins season after Carter Verhaeghe scored the overtime winner in Game 7 last year.


Florida beat Boston in three of the four playoff meetings at the TD Garden in 2023. After Friday’s morning skate ahead of Game 3 Maurice was asked if that success makes them more comfortable going into this year’s series.



“I’m trying to give you a mindful answer about ‘how do you feel coming into this game?’”, Maurice said before answering. “I’m gonna say yes, but it doesn’t matter… We didn’t beat them in the regular season — they beat us five times —  and that had nothing to do with Game 2, it doesn’t matter.”

Maurice continued; “We beat them three times up here last year, none of that will matter once the puck drops tonight.”


The Panthers were 0-0-2 in Boston during the regular season, but like Maurice said, none of that matters in the playoffs. 


As for the game on hand, the Panthers may get back a big piece to their forward core tonight. 



Sam Bennett, who hasn’t played since leaving Game 2 of the first round with an injury (upper-body), took morning skate with the team on Friday and will be a game-time decision, per Maurice.

“He was good this morning, he felt really good,” Maurice said of Bennett. “We’ll get him a nap this afternoon, get him through warmups and make a decision then.”

If Bennett is good to play on Friday, the odd forward out will likely be a member of the fourth-line. The line of Steven Lorentz, Kyle Okposo and Nick Cousins have been great this postseason, so good that they’ve kept Ryan Lomberg and Jonah Gadjovich — both regulars during the season — out of the playoff lineup.


“I’m gonna end up taking a player out of the lineup who doesn’t deserve to come out of the lineup,” Maurice said on Friday in anticipation of a Bennett return. “Sam Bennett’s not watching games, if he’s ready to play, he’s playing.”

Projected Lines (If Bennett doesn’t play)

Tarasenko – Barkov – Reinhart 

Verhaeghe – Lundell – Tkachuk 

Luostarinen – Stenlund – Rodrigues 

Cousins – Lorentz – Okposo


Forsling – Ekblad

Mikkola – Montour

Ekman-Larsson – Kulikov





Sam Bennett skated during line rushes with projected scratches Ryan Lomberg and Jonah Gadjovich today, per Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald. 


If Bennett does play, expect centers Anton Lundell and Kevin Stenlund to both slide down a line, while Bennett takes over line 2 with Tkachuk and Verhaeghe. 


Friday’s drop is 7 p.m. ET at the TD Garden in Boston.

Panthers tie series, score six on Bruins in Game 2

SUNRISE — After losing 5-1 at home in Game 1, The Florida Panthers quickly bounced back on Wednesday night, defeating the Boston Bruins 6-1 at Amerant Bank Arena. 


The series now stands at 1-1, with the Bruins hosting the next two games at the TD Garden in Boston.  


In the first period, the Panthers looked awfully similar to the team who got run out of the building in Game 1. 


The Bruins were forcing plenty of o-zone turnovers with their heavy forecheck, and it would give them a 1-0 lead off of Charlie Coyle’s first goal of the playoffs, 12:12 into the game. 


Florida was lucky to be down just one when they went to the intermission — it felt like Boston would repeat what they did the previous game. 

The Panthers didn’t have a lot of juice in the first four periods of the series. The only line that really didn’t look outmuscled was the one who sees the least amount of ice. 


Florida’s fourth-line never strayed away from the simple parts of the team’s style; pucks in deep, hard forecheck and creating traffic in front. 


1:56 into the second, Steven Lorentz tied the game after redirecting a point shot from Brandon Montour. 


The Panthers had life thanks to their depth players — their stars would follow suit. 


Captain Aleksander Barkov found the back of the net for the third time in the playoffs — giving the Panthers a 2-1 lead at the midway part of the period. 


In Game 1, Boston took control of the game after Brandon Carlo gave his team a two-goal cushion with just 20 seconds left in the second period. 


On Wednesday night, Florida flipped the script. 


With just one second remaining in the period, Gustav Forsling fired his first goal of the playoffs past Jeremy Swayman — the Panthers had their two-goal cushion. 


“It was obviously a huge goal by Forsy,” Barkov said. “It made us feel a little more comfortable going into the third.”


Eetu Luostarinen quickly increased Florida’s lead to three just 88 seconds into the fourth.


Boston would pull Swayman, bringing in Linus Ullmark for just his second appearance of the postseason, however this wouldn’t stop the bleeding in Sunrise. 


Barkov would pick up another goal and another assist — completely putting the game out of reach.


“I think, in a veery good way, he’s the perfect man to be captain of the Florida Panthers,” head coach Paul  Maurice said of Barkov. “We have an interesting spectrum of personalities in our group. We need a guy exactly like that (Barkov).”


Both Barkov (2G, 2A) and Reinhart (4A) would finish the game with four points.


“He stepped up when we needed him the most,” Eetu Luostarinen said of Barkov. “I think he’s been unreal all of the playoffs.”


Game 3 will be Friday, May 10, at 7 p.m. ET in Boston.



There were 12 total misconducts in the game — all in the third period


Panthers’ Sam Bennett didn’t play, but is expected to join the team on the road trip


This is the first game of the playoffs where Jeremy Swayman conceded more than two goals — he gave up four

Panthers – Bruins: Sam Bennett to miss Game 2 vs. Boston

After a disappointing 5-1 loss in Game 1, the Florida Panthers will try and even up the series later tonight in Sunrise. 


The Panthers aren’t strangers when it comes to facing an early series deficit. In the first round last year, they lost Game 1 to the Bruins before winning Game 2, 6-3.


They’ll need to do the same tonight at home, otherwise they’ll be flying to Boston, down 2-0. 


Florida will once again be without the services of center Sam Bennett (upper-body) on Wednesday night. Bennett, who hasn’t played since Game 2 of the first round, will miss his fifth straight game. 


Bennett has been skating away from the team this week and took part in a full skate with the Panthers’ scratches on Tuesday.


Bennett did not skate Wednesday.


Also on Tuesday, Panthers head coach Paul Maurice said that Bennett would play in “one of the next three games”. Maurice gave another update before Game 2, saying Bennett’s “not far off” and that he expects him to be on the road trip. 


As for lineup changes, the Panthers didn’t switch up anything at morning skate — running back the same lines from Game 1. 


Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is scheduled to start his seventh straight game (4-2-0) of the postseason.


Projected Lines

Verhaeghe – Barkov – Tkachuk 

Luostarinen – Lundell – Reinhart 

Tarasenko – Stenlund – Rodrigues 

Cousins – Lorentz – Okposo


Forsling – Ekblad

Mikkola – Montour

Ekman-Larsson – Kulikov


Bobrovsky (Confirmed Starter)



Schedule — Bruins lead 1-0

Game 1: Monday, May 6 — 8 p.m. (Amerant Bank Arena) –  FINAL: BOS 5-1

Game 2: Wednesday, May 8 — 7:30 p.m. (Amerant Bank Arena)

Game 3: Friday, May 10 — 7 p.m. (TD Garden)

Game 4: Sunday, May 12 — 6:30  p.m.  (TD Garden) 

Game 5: Tuesday, May 14 — TBD (Amerant Bank Arena)

Game 6: Friday, May 17 — TBD (TD Garden)

Game 7: Sunday, May 19 — TBD (Amerant Bank Arena)

Bruins take Game 1 on road, defeat Panthers 5-1

SUNRISE — Just two days off their Game 7 overtime win, the Boston Bruins opened up the second round with a 5-1 road victory over the Florida Panthers, Monday night in South Florida. 


Boston takes a 1-0 series lead against Florida lead for the second consecutive postseason.


The first goal of the game didn’t come until 11:45 into the second period, where Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk broke the ice with his fourth goal of the postseason, giving the Panthers a 1-0 lead.


After nearly 32 minutes of stellar goaltending to start the game, the floodgates would open up after Tkachuk got the ball rolling


Just 67 seconds after Florida took the lead, Boston’s Morgan Geekie answered the bell, tying the game at 1-1 with his third goal of the playoffs. 


Mason Lohrei would give Boston their first lead of the night with 3:43 left in the period, burying his first career playoff goal past Sergei Bobrovsky.


With 21 seconds left in the second, Brandon Carlo scored from the point — giving the Bruins a two-goal lead.


After three unanswered goals in the final seven minutes of the period, the Bruins went into the third up 3-1.


In the third, Justin Brazeau added a fourth Bruins goal — putting them up 4-1, 7:13 into the third. 


The Bruins would add one more on the empty net to end their goal total at five.


Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman had 38 saves in the win.


Boston has won Game 1 in their last two playoff series — the most recent being this year over Toronto.

This was Florida’s first home playoff loss since Game 4 of the 2023 Stanley Cup Final to Vegas.

‘All the bruises are gone and we feel pretty strong’: Panthers fresh and ready for second-round series against Bruins

FORT LAUDERDALE — It’s been a week since the Panthers finished off the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games to move onto the second round. 


Wrapping up their series early, the Panthers have been out of game action for six days, but have kept themselves busy with a few team skates as they awaited the winner of the Bruins – Leafs matchup. 


“Rest isn’t the right word, it’s recovery, right? You get two days off at home, you’re rested and recovered.” Panthers head coach Paul Maurice said. “All the bruises are gone and we feel pretty strong.”


On Saturday, the Bruins avoided disaster, defeating the Leafs 2-1 in Game 7 thanks to David Pastrnank’s game winner.


Toronto was able to overcome a 3-1 deficit to force a winner takes all game in Boston — the same thing the Panthers did last season.


Unlike Florida, Toronto couldn’t get the job done. So now we are back to where we were last year — Florida vs Boston in the playoffs.


“Obviously a really good team over there,” Panthers defenseman Brandon Montour said of Boston. “You can look back at whoever won that series (Boston-Toronto), we got history with both of them.”

Last season, the Bruins were the overwhelming favorites in the series.

Florida was the lowest ranked team in the playoffs — narrowly getting in by just a point. The Bruins were the Presidents’ Trophy winners and chosen by many to win the cup. 


The guys from last year will never forget the borderline miracle they pulled off last year, however the 2023-24 Panthers are a different beast. 


Florida won Game 82 of the regular season, while Boston lost — flip flopping the division on the final day as the Panthers took home the Atlantic Division title. 


On Monday night, the Panthers will host the Bruins in Game 1 of the second round and they hope to take advantage of the home-ice they outright won. 


“It’s huge,” Panthers forward Evan Rodrigues spoke about playing in front of their fans . “They call it home-ice advantage for a reason. They (the fans) were loud, they were into it from Game 1 and it gives you a boost. 


The Panthers will be running the same lineup as they did in Game 5 against the Lightning, with Sergei Bobrovsky set to start again in net. 


Panthers forward, Sam Bennett, hasn’t played since Game 2 but has been skating away from the team. 


“He’s not far off,” Panthers head coach Paul Maurice said when asked about Bennett’s time table.


Puck drop will be at 8 p.m. ET in Sunrise.


Projected lines

Verhaeghe – Barkov – Tkachuk 

Luostarinen – Lundell – Reinhart 

Tarasenko – Stenlund – Rodrigues 

Cousins – Lorentz – Okposo


Forsling – Ekblad

Mikkola – Montour

Ekman-Larsson – Kulikov


Bobrovsky (Confirmed Starter)



The NHL has released the full second round schedule, but have not announced all of the start times just yet. 



Game 1: Monday, May 6 — 8 p.m. (Amerant Bank Arena)

Game 2: Wednesday, May 8 — 7:30 p.m. (Amerant Bank Arena)

Game 3: Friday, May 10 — 7 p.m. (TD Garden)

Game 4: Sunday, May 12 — TBD (TD Garden) 

Game 5: Tuesday, May 14 — TBD (Amerant Bank Arena)

Game 6: Friday, May 17 — TBD (TD Garden)

Game 7: Sunday, May 19 — TBD (Amerant Bank Arena)

Panthers await opponent as Leafs force Game 7 against Bruins

The Florida Panthers will have to wait a few more days before they can begin their second-round playoff series. 


On Thursday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Boston Bruins 2-1 — forcing a winner takes all Game 7, Saturday in Boston.


William Nylander scored both of Toronto’s goals while Boston got on the board with just 0.1 seconds left in the game.


Florida will face the winner of the Leafs – Bruins series round 2, with Games 1 and 2 at home in Sunrise. 


Despite still not knowing their next opponent, the Panthers are more than familiar with both squads. 


The Panthers knocked the Bruins out in seven games in the first round last season before doing the same to the Leafs in just five games the next round. 


“The other teams, their personnel changed a bit (from last year), but the basics of their games haven’t changed,” Panthers head coach Paul Maurice said on Thursday. “Neither have ours, we got no secrets.” 


Entering Saturday’s Game 7, Boston finds themselves in an awfully similar situation to what they faced last year against Florida.

Like last year, the Bruins held a 3-1 series lead to the Leafs, with a chance to win the series at home in Game 5. Toronto — as Florida did — defeated the Bruins in overtime, shifting the series back to their home barn.


Boston has lost a first round Game 6, on the road, in back-to-back seasons and will need to prevent a repeat of last year if they don’t want another early summer. 


The NHL announced on Thursday that Game 1 between the Panthers and the winner of Leafs-Bruins will be on Monday, May 6 in Sunrise


As the Atlantic Division winners, Florida will have the home-ice advantage in the second round, whether it’s Boston or Toronto who land in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday morning.