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2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Florida Panthers Stick with Bob, Bruins Mulling Change for Game 7

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Florida Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky celebrates with Radko Gudas following his team’s 7-5 win over the Boston Bruins in Game 6 on Friday night in Sunrise. // Photo by Roger Lee Photographer (561) 866-2000

There may be a goalie change for the Boston Bruins on Sunday evening when they play host to the Florida Panthers in a winner-take-all Game 7.

While Florida coach Paul Maurice will stay with Sergei Bobrovsky, Boston’s Jim Montgomery sounds as if he is leaning toward bringing in Jeremy Swayman for the series finale.

Swayman and Linus Ullmark have been a very successful goalie tandem during the Bruins’ historic regular season, but Boston has gone with just Ullmark through the first six games of this series.

In speaking with reporters upon landing in Massachusetts on Saturday, Montgomery did not name a starter — but it sounds like a change may be coming.

Of course, that has been said before in this series and the Bruins have stuck with the likely Vezina Trophy winner. Montgomery said a decision would be made on Sunday morning before hosting the Panthers in Game 7.

UPDATE: According to local reports from Bruins’ morning skate, Swayman was off the ice first while Ullmark stayed out to work with the scratches — which included Nick Foligno.

It looks like a new goalie for the Bruins tonight.

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“Linus didn’t make enough stops; that would be the reason to make a switch,” Montgomery told reporters upon landing in Massachusetts per Boston Hockey Now.“Plain and simple.”

Montgomery did give some props to Swayman, comparing him to some Boston sports heroes. That will endure you to the New England faithful.

“When it comes to Jeremy Swayman, he is the most confident individual I know,’’ Montgomery said. “You give the ball to Clemens to go and win Game 7 on the mound; you’re down to the last two minutes and Tom Brady’s got the ball, you like your chances.”

Ullmark has been taking a lot of blame for Florida coming back on the Bruins in this series as he has not seemed to be the same since going after Matthew Tkachuk and being thrown out late in Game 4.

He made a bad play behind the net in overtime of Game 5 which led to Tkachuk winning that one, and he gave up six goals on 32 shots on Friday night.

“I just couldn’t make one more save. That’s it,’’ Ullmark said following the loss in Sunrise. “Sometimes that’s just part of the game where that happens and today was one of those games. Today was just one of those days.”

The Panthers, obviously, have already made a goalie change in this series as Alex Lyon started the first three games with Bobrovsky taking over in Game 4.

Bobrovsky has won his past two starts — making saves on 73 of 81 shots (90 percent) — and is attempting to knock out his second No. 1 seed in the past five years.

If the Panthers were to win with Bobrovsky in net on Sunday, he would be responsible for beating the NHL’s best regular-season team in the Bruins (65 wins) after sweeping the No. 3 Lightning (62) while with Columbus in 2018.

Of course, he is a long way away from putting that on his resume.

“Sergei had (44) saves the other night,” Maurice said. “I liked his game and they still put five in on him. I think he is fine, I think Ullmark is fine. The goaltending is not something we’re focusing on. We need to get to the net and need to do a lot of things around the net to get a shot up there.”

FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS, ROUND 1
BOSTON BRUINS (ATL1) VS. FLORIDA PANTHERS (WC2)
GAME 7 (Series Tied 3-3)

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