Paul Maurice would not say whether he would stick with Alex Lyon or go to Sergei Bobrovsky for Game 2 of the first-round playoff series between the Florida Panthers and host Boston Bruins.
In reading between the lines, Maurice not-so-subtly said Lyon would get a second crack at the Bruins on Wednesday night.
“We have a whole lot of time before we announce who our goalie is,” Maurice said on Tuesday morning. “But, to comment, I thought he was fantastic. Those three Grade-A chances he stopped all of them. They did not miss. He made saves on all of them. I loved his game.”
Lyon was fantastic for much of Game 1 against the Bruins, stopping 26 of 29 shots in a 3-1 loss.
He stopped a number of key breakaways and made a lot of big saves to keep the Panthers in the fight — but he did surrender a pair of soft goals which ended up being the difference in the game.
With the Panthers already down 1-0 off a David Pastrnak power play goal Lyon had no chance at stopping, Brad Marchand ripped off a shot from just above the left circle.
The puck glanced Lyon’s glove and, as he turned, it hit the back of the net.
Later in the second period with the score 2-1 off Matthew Tkachuk’s goal, Tyler Bertuzzi sent a shot that Lyon stopped but could not find nor secure.
With the puck sitting on his pad for all to claim, Jake DeBrusk jammed at it and it went through.
That was the ballgame.
Per NaturalStatTrick.com, the Bruins had an expected-goal rate of 2.42 and scored 3 goals; the Panthers had an xGF of 3.14 and only scored once.
The Panthers certainly could have helped their goalie out a little more, soft goal notwithstanding.
“Sometimes you do have a different perspective on your goalie after you watch the game on video,” Maurice said. “From the bench, you don’t appreciate the angles of shots and there are always more saves the goalie makes than you thought he did. I liked his game. Did he look the way he looks when he normally plays well? Is he on?
“I thought he was fantastic. The second goal was a tough one, sure. If he saves that with his glove and he gives up one of those 2-on-1s and you would have thought he played a perfect game. I get all the axioms about ‘it’s not the ones you make, it’s the ones you leave.’ I get that. But, to me, he was fantastic.”
If Lyon does indeed start for the Panthers on Wednesday night, it will mark his 10th consecutive game in place of Bobrovsky since March 29 in Toronto.
Lyon won his first six games in net and ended the regular season 6-1-1. With the loss Monday, he has dropped his past three decisions.
The ones now, of course, are the only ones that count.
“He saved a few that should have been in the net,” Radko Gudas said of his goalie. “we feel pretty comfortable with him.
“He has been rock solid and we are in this position because he gave us a chance to win as he did (Monday). The three 2-on-1s we gave up are something we don’t want to do, but he was there for us and stopped them. We are very confident.”
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS, ROUND 1
BOSTON BRUINS (ATL1) VS. FLORIDA PANTHERS (WC2)
GAME 2 (Bruins lead Best-of-7 Series 1-0)
- When: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
- Where: T.D. Garden
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN/ESPN+
- Radio: WAXY 790-AM/WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- Regular Season Series (Tied 2-2): @Boston 5, Florida 3 (Oct. 17); @Florida 5, Boston 2 (Nov. 23); @Boston 7, Florida 3 (Dec. 19); @Florida 4, Boston 3 OT (Jan. 28)
- Last Season: Boston won 2-1
- All-time Regular Season Series: Boston leads 60-38-6, 6 ties
- Playoff History (Florida leads 1-0): Panthers 4-1, 1996 (first round)
- First Round Schedule — Game 1: Boston 3, Florida 1; Game 2: at Boston, Wednesday, ame 3: at Florida, Friday, 7:30 (TNT); Game 4: at Florida, Sunday, April 23, 3:30 (TNT); Game 5*: at Boston, Wednesday, April 26; Game 6*: at Florida, Friday, April 28; Game 7*: at Boston, Sunday, April 30.