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2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Florida Panthers Have Struggled Against Bruins This Season



Florida panthers
Niko Mikkola and Brad Marchand go at it during the second period of Boston’s 4-3 win in Sunrise on March 26. Boston went 4-0 against the Panthers during the regular season. (AP Photo/Rhona Wise)

The Florida Panthers have not beaten the Boston Bruins since knocking them out of the first round in Game 7 last year.

Boston went unbeaten in four games against the Panthers this season, with two of those games coming in overtime including a month ago at the Garden.

In that game, the Bruins won it 3-2 on a goal by Jesper Boqvist 2:05 into overtime.

“I thought we got better in the third period,” Paul Maurice said following his team’s final road game of the regular season.

“We had nothing in the tank to do it. They pushed through it. I was happy with the effort. I wasn’t happy with the result, but happy with the effort.”

That win gave Boston a 5-point lead on the Panthers in the Atlantic Division race — one Florida ended up winning by a point after winning its final four games of the regular season.

By winning the Atlantic over Boston, despite getting just two of the available eight points, Florida opened with Tampa Bay in the first round and have home ice advantage in this upcoming series.

Game 1 is Monday at 8 p.m. in Sunrise (ESPN).

Florida and Boston played each other twice in the final weeks of the season.

Although Florida forced OT in Boston, the Bruins beat the Panthers 4-3 in Sunrise on March 26.

In that game, the Panthers had a 3-2 lead midway through the third on a Carter Verhagehe goal, but the Bruins closed it out with goals from Trent Frederic which tied it, and Pavel Zacha’s goal with 2:21 left to win it.

On the game-winning goal, David Pastrnak — the hero of Boston’s 2-1 OT win in Game 7 Saturday night against the Maple Leafs — took a shot that went off of Zacha’s skate.

“In three weeks, this goes to another level,” Boston coach Jim Montgomery said afterward.

He is not wrong.

The Panthers and Bruins will meet in the playoffs for the second straight postseason.

In the opening round last year, Florida lost both games at home to go down 3-1 before rallying to upset the heavily-favored Bruins.

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