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. 

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