The Panthers and Bruins got back together Monday night exactly six months after Florida ended what Boston thought was going to be a special season.
It appears there is still some bad blood.
Boston ended up rallying from a 2-goal deficit and pulled out a 3-2 overtime when on a breakaway goal from Pavel Zacha with 1:24 left.
The win snapped a three-game home losing streak to the Panthers as Florida won Games 2, 5 and 7 of their first-round playoff series in Boston.
The Bruins are now 8-0-1 to start this season; Florida is 4-3-1 and takes a three-game point streak into Detroit.
The Panthers started the game with Sam Bennett in the lineup for the first time since he got hurt Oct. 5 in a preseason game at Tampa — but he had to be helped off the ice after appearing to re-injure his left leg in the second period after getting wrapped up with Hampus Lindholm.
In the third period, Charlie McAvoy — who tied the score at 2 moments before — got tossed after a blatant shoulder to the head to Oliver Ekman-Larsson while skating through the slot in the offensive zone.
Florida failed to cash in on the 5-minute power play as Ekman-Larsson left the game, likely in concussion protocol.
McAvoy will likely be suspended for the cheap hit although that is not Florida’s concern right now.
Coach Paul Maurice did not have an immediate update on Bennett or OEL. He said both would be evaluated on Tuesday. The Panthers will be off.
Florida took a 2-0 lead in the first period on a Sasha Barkov/Sam Reinhart connection.
First, it was Reinhart feeding Barkov in the defensive zone and escorting him down the ice on a 2-on-1. Barkov kept it, shot it and beat Linus Ullmark.
Later in the period, Reinhart took a nice pass from Barkov and one-timed it through.
Boston ended up cutting into the Florida lead in the second on a puck off Gus Forsling’s skate with McEvoy tying things at 4:49 of the third.
— By playing Monday, Barkov tied the franchise record for games played at 671; he is tied with Jonathan Huberdeau.
Barkov will set the record on Thursday.
— Bobrovsky was very good on Monday night, making 26 saves.
GOALS OF THE GAME
- Panthers 1, Bruins 0 (6:13, 1st): Sam Reinhart lifts the puck in the Florida zone and breaks out along with Sasha Barkov on a 2-on-1. Barkov looks off Reinhart and beats Linus Ullmark for his second goal of the season.
- Panthers 2, Bruins 0 (15:08, 1st): Barkov pokes the puck away from Matt Poitras, chases it down along the back wall and returns to favor — Reinhart one-times the pass from the slot.
- Panthers 2, Bruins 1 (3:38, 2nd): Jake DeBrusk throws a wild shot toward the net that Brad Marchand gets a stick on. The puck clips Gus Forsling’s skate and gets past Sergei Bobrovsky.
- Bruins 2, Panthers 2 (7:20, 3rd): David Pastrnak finds Charlie McAvoy driving in front and some nice stickwork ties the score.
- Bruins 3, Panthers 2 (3:36, OT): Pavel Zacha gets loose and scores the game-winning goal on a breakaway.
GR’S 3 STARS OF THE GAME
1. Linus Ullmark, Boston (35 saves)
2. Pavel Zacha, Boston (GWG, assist)
3. Sasha Barkov, Florida (goal, assist)
PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS @ DETROIT RED WINGS
- When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
- Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit
- Streaming/TV: Bally Sports Florida/ESPN+
- Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WBZT 1230-AM (West Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); WCZR 101.7-FM (Treasure Coast); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL/Panthers App
- Last season: Florida won 3-0
- This season: @Detroit Thursday, March 2; @Florida Jan. 17, March 30
- All-time regular season series: Florida leads 36-19-6, 5 ties
- Up Next for the Panthers: Saturday @ Chicago, 8 p.m.