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2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Florida Panthers Have a Sweet History with the Boston Bruins



Florida panthers
Top: Billy Lindsay checks out ‘The Goal’ atop the Panthers’ arena in Sunrise; BL: Carter Verhaeghe reacts after Gus Forsling scored late in Game 6 on Friday night; BR: Matthew Tkachuk celebrates Verhaeghe’s OT goal in Game 7 last year. // AP Photos - Michael Dwyer; @GeorgeRichards

Before leaving Boston entirely behind and begin thinking about the New York Rangers, let’s look at how history may treat the just-completed series between the Florida Panthers and Bruins.

Florida and Boston have only played three times in their playoff history, and each series was unique and had a flare for the dramatic.

Memories from the Florida side will be a lot more pleasant than for Boston fans.

Each series involved a come-from-behind victory in the final game.

Bill Lindsay scored ‘The Goal’ in Game 5 of the first round, putting the Panthers on the hockey map in 1996.

It was the third season of the team’s existence.

In front of hometown fans at Miami Arena, the dramatic goal propelled the Panthers to a series win in their first postseason.

It was Florida’s first of three series wins that summer in its improbable run to the Stanley Cup Final.

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It took a long time for the Bruins and Panthers to meet in the playoffs again.

The 2023 and 2024 meetings had striking similarities.

Florida dramatically won both in front of the hometown Boston faithful.

Brandon Montour’s tying goal, followed by Carter Verhaeghe’s game-winning goal in OT in 2023, capped one of the biggest upsets in NHL history and left the TD Garden crowd in stunned silence.

Gus Forsling’s game-winner this year was so close to the end that it had the same effect as an overtime goal.

The normally rowdy Boston crowd was in shocked silence after that one.

This year’s series win was not the dramatic upset of the prior season because the Panthers and Bruins were very close in the standings.

The Panthers were not “playing with house money” this year.

They were expected to be a serious challenger this postseason.

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Although the series went to Game 6, and three were one-goal victories, statistics show the Panthers dominated in several key areas.

The Panthers won all three games in Boston, extending the playoff streak to six games.

The last playoff game the Panthers lost in Boston was Game 1 of last year’s first round.

Boston fans would like to forget that.

Florida killed off 15 of 16 Boston power plays.

This skill will be essential in the round against the red-hot Rangers’ power play.

Boston scored only eight goals in the five games following their 5-1 victory in the opener.

Florida outshot Boston by a 205-130 margin.

Both Jeremy Swayman and Sergei Bobrovsky were magnificent in goal.

Florida’s power play was not particularly effective, but Boston’s undiscipline penalties cost them a lot of opportunities.

With the game tied in the third period, the final Boston penalty went to Charlie McAvoy for taking a run at Sam Bennett with only six minutes remaining in a potential series-clinching game.

Not a smart move.

Bennett, wisely, did not retaliate.

Will there be a rematch in 2025 to add to the memories?

It’s possible, but both rosters may differ significantly, given cap restraints and expiring contracts.

We will see what happens in the summer — one which has already started in Boston.

For the most in-depth coverage of the Florida Panthers:

  • When: Wednesday, 8 p.m.
  • Where: Madison Square Garden, New York
  • National TV: ESPN
  • Streaming: ESPN+/Hulu
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WPOW 96.5-FM2; 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 app
  • Series Schedule — Game 1: Panthers at Rangers, Wednesday, 8 (ESPN); Game 2: Panthers at Rangers, Friday 8 (ESPN); Game 3: Rangers at Panthers, Sunday May 26, 3 (ABC); Game 4: Rangers at Panthers, Tuesday May 28, 8 (ESPN): Game 5*: Panthers at Rangers, Thursday May 30, 8 (ESPN); Game 6*: Rangers at Panthers, Saturday June 1, 8 (ABC); Game 7*: Panthers at Rangers, Monday June 3, 8 (ESPN). (*) — If Necessary.
  • Second Round, Florida d. Boston 4-2 — Game 1: Boston 5, @Florida 1; Game 2: @Florida 6, Boston 1; Game 3: Florida 6, @Boston 2; Game 4: Florida 3, @Boston 2; Game 5: Boston 2, @Florida 1; Game 6: Florida 2, @Boston 1.
  • How They Got Here: Florida d. Tampa Bay 4-1, Boston 4-2; Rangers d. Washington 4-0, Carolina 4-2.
  • Last Season vs. Rangers — Regular Season: Rangers won 3-0
  • This Season (Panthers Won 2-1) — At Florida: Panthers 4 Rangers 3 (Dec. 29). At MSG: Panthers 4, Rangers 2 (March 4); Rangers 4, Panthers 3 OT (March 23).
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Rangers lead 61-34-8, 6 ties
  • Postseason History: Rangers Lead 1-0 (1997 1st)

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