Although the Boston Bruins weren’t able to complete the series sweep after falling to the Florida Panthers in Game 2, 6-3, it was their first loss in their last nine games and it proved to be enough motivation to win the following two games and take a 3-1 series lead. Boston has a chance to advance to the next round with a win in Game 5.
Game 2 was action-packed with tons of chirping and pushing after the whistle. Florida slowed down Boston enough to secure the 6-3 win, totaling seven fewer shots and one less power play opportunity in the process. It was a rather poor night for the whole team but Linus Ullmark mightily struggled, stopping just 24-of-29 shots.
The loss was enough to fuel the Bruins to return to the dominant hockey they've showcased throughout the regular season. Boston won the following two games in dominant fashion, outscoring Florida 10-4. Taylor Hall has shown glimpses of his former self after netting three goals in the past two games and is leading the team in postseason points as a result. Despite the rough Game 2 performance, Ullmark proved why he’s one of the best, stopping 29-of-31 shots in Game 3 and an impressive 42-of-44 shots in Game 4.
Top Goal Scorer: Taylor Hall — 4 goals (Jake DeBrusk and Brad Marchand are tied for second with 3 goals)
Top Point Getter: Taylor Hall — 7 points (Tyler Bertuzzi is second with 6 points)
Top Goaltender: Linus Ullmark — 3-1 record, 2.55 goals against on average (GAA), .926 save percentage
Bruins remaining schedule for Round 1:
- GAME 5: Wednesday, April 26 vs. Florida
- GAME 6: Friday, April 28 @ Florida (if necessary)
- GAME 7: Sunday, April 30 vs. Florida (if necessary)
Bruins DraftKings Fantasy Preview for Round 1
Injury Update: Patrice Bergeron (upper body) is expected to make his postseason debut after practicing on Tuesday. David Krejci (upper body) has been ruled out.
- Across the final 20 regular-season games, Boston finished with a 16-4-0 record and +21 goal differential, averaging 3.3 goals for and 2.3 goals against per game. In comparison, Florida finished with a 12-6-2 record and a +17 goal differential, averaging 3.8 goals for and 3.0 goals against per game. Across the last 20 meetings between these two teams dating back to 2018, the Bruins have an 11-7-2 record against the Panthers.
- This series has been full of penalties with Boston ranking first and Florida ranking fourth in penalty minutes so far this postseason. Across the previous four games, Florida has garnered 11 power play opportunities but has only found the back of the net once, good for the second-worst percentage (9.1%) behind only the New York Islanders. As a result, the Bruins post the second-best penalty kill percentage (90.9%) and have been successful 28.6% of the time when on the man advantage. It’s clear these two teams don't like each other one bit but one team is taking advantage while the other is struggling.
- This primarily highlights how truly dominant Ullmark is when he’s between the pipes but Florida has managed to fire off the second most shots per game (34.3) so far this postseason but it has resulted in just an average of 2.8 goals per game, which is tied for the second-lowest average so far. There’s no denying that Florida’s top goal scorers like Matthew Tkachuk (2G, 3A) and Carter Verhaeghe (1G, 1A) have created plenty of chances throughout the series but the lack of consistency outside of the top six has hindered the true potential for an upset over Boston.
- Although they were able to steal a road game in Game 2, the Panthers have a 20-20-3 overall road record while the Bruins post a 35-5-3 overall home record. Their expected goal percentage this postseason (51.95%) is higher than Bruins, but their true goal percentage drops all the way down to just 37.5%. Their -4 goal differential ranks as the second-worst this postseason and the odds of them winning three consecutive games (with two of those coming on the road) are very slim and would take a miracle at this point. Boston’s longest losing streak of the regular season was just three games for reference.
(All stats as of Apr. 25)
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