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2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Florida Panthers Dug Too Deep a Hole in Game 5 vs. Bruins



Florida panthers
Boston Bruins players celebrate after the Bruins beat the Florida Panthers 2-1 during Game 5 on Tuesday in Sunrise. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers strayed too far from their usual style in their 2-1 Game 5 loss to the Boston Bruins.

They made too many sloppy passes, they weren’t aggressive on the forecheck and Boston jumped on it the first chance they got to take control of the first period and cut their series deficit to 3-2.

Game 6 will be in Boston on Friday between 7-8 p.m. The start time should be announced today.

Morgan Geekie jumped at the opportunity, burying a slick backhand shot past Sergei Bobrovsky 4:49 into the game, and the Panthers were under siege from that point on.

“They were real fast and I thought we were trying to move the puck a certain way that didn’t suit our style of game,” coach Paul Maurice said. “They had a good first period.”

Boston led 13-4 in shots, 5-4 in scoring chances and did not allow the Panthers to generate a single scoring chance in the first period.

And they had to continue to chase the game in the second period.

“It was the start,” Sam Reinhart said. “They were on pucks quicker than we were. We were able to find our game in the second but couldn’t convert on some of our chances.”

Reinhart found the answer 6:23 into the second period, banking home a rebound to tie the game.

But Boston found its answer a few minutes later and the Panthers were right back to chasing the game.

Charlie McAvoy ripped a shot from the point which beat Bobrovsky and Maurice unsuccessfully challenged it for goaltender interference.

Danton Heinen was in the crease and made slight contact with Bobrovsky on the play, but he could have been aided into him by Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

The ruling?

That there was simply no goaltender interference on the play. No other explanation.

But he at least wanted to try.

“I thought there was just of a bump,” Maurice said. “There’s a difference between the clean shot and the rebound shot. Those are two different situations. It was a clean shot and I thought him being in the crease keeping Bob from setting is enough.

“I also don’t mind if I’m wrong taking it between the eyes on something like that because I still need to be involved.”

At the end of the day, that call was not the undoing of the Panthers on Tuesday night.

They had multiple golden opportunities to bury a tying goal and they couldn’t hack it.

Florida had four opportunities on the power play and came up with zilch.

The two power play opportunities they had in the third period coming up fruitless seemed to be the dagger.

“We just need to simplify,” Reinhart said. “That way we aren’t looking for the perfect play as much. We need to be a little quicker, a little more decisive with the puck and we’ll be okay.”

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Well get em in Boston…no worries.

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