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2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Game 5: Florida Panthers 4, Boston Bruins 3 (OT)

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Panthers bruins game 5

Say what you will, but both the Florida Panthers and Boston Bruins came to play in Game 5 on Wednesday night.

One team wanted to end this series and move on. The other wanted to keep its season going.

Matthew Tkachuk made sure the Panthers are still alive.

Florida took the lead three different times off goals from Anthony Duclair, Sam Bennett and Sam Reinhart in what was a back-and-forth affair.

But in overtime, it was Tkachuk who won it as Florida’s season continues with a 4-3 overtime win.

Florida will now play host to Game 6 of this best-of-7 series on Friday night in Sunrise. Boston leads 3-2.

“We did not want our season to end,” Tkachuk said after he corralled a Carter Verhaeghe deflection off goalie Linus Ullmark, strolled in and roofed it backhand. “It’s a simple answer, but we really wanted to keep this thing going, fight another day.”

The Panthers certainly brought their A-Game early on as they were all over the Bruins in the first period and took the initial lead when Tyler Bertuzzi’s turnover deep in the zone led to a goal from a hard-charging Duclair.

The goal was the first in the opening period in this series for Florida and gave the Panthers their first lead after 20 minutes.

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Boston was able to tie it up in the second but a terrific showing by Sergei Bobrovsky kept things even at 1 despite Boston dominating play through not only the second but third period as well.

Florida ended up getting outshot 10-1 in the second period — but the one shot was a big one as Bennett took a feed from Verhaeghe, pulled it in and whipped it past Linus Ullmark with 1:08 remaining in the period.

A second penalty on Aaron Ekblad early in the third led to Boston tying it on a deflection from its returning captain as Patrice Bergeron knocked a Brad Marchand delivery over Bobrovsky’s shoulder.

But the Panthers bounced right back and made it 3-2 when their much-maligned power play got just their second of the series when Reinhart scored from the slot.

Midway through the third, the game was tied again when Taylor Hall got his fifth in as many games by retrieving a rebound, working it back and taking a shot that deflected off of Marc Staal.

Florida was getting outshot 39-17 at that point.

In regulation, the Panthers were outshot 43-22 with the Bruins holding a 85-42 advantage in shot attempts. Florida blocked 19 shots in the first three periods.

Florida got outshot 16-6 in the third period with Boston holding a 8-0 lead on high-danger chances and had 20 scoring chances to Florida’s 6.

The Panthers were just hanging on at times — and Bobrovsky was there to keep them in it.

The Bruins ended up going 2-for-5 on the power play and had a chance to win it late when the Panthers clearly had six players on the ice. Florida stopped that one and it looked like the game was going to OT.

Only Marchand almost ended it at the buzzer as the Panthers gave up a breakaway as he raced in and fired on Bobrovsky with Ekblad trailing.

Bobrovsky made his 40th save of the game to force overtime.

He ended his night with 44 saves and all but assured himself the Game 6 start.

“We had been in a tough position where we lost during our compete for the playoffs and there has been so much adversity here over the course of the season,” Bobrovsky said. “This was a great game, a great team effort. We competed and we fought. We’re happy with the win that’s for sure. I am happy we got the win. It is a great feeling.”

GOALS OF THE GAME

  • Panthers 1, Bruins 0 (8:26, 1st): Tyler Bertuzzi turns over the puck deep in the Florida zone, Carter Verhaeghe picks it off and sends an odd-angled shot Linus Ullmark stops. But Anthony Duclair flies through the zone and bats the loose puck out of the air and through for Florida’s first first-period lead of the series.
  • Bruins 1, Panthers 1 (2:27, 2nd): The Bruins cash in on their second power play chance of the game, Brad Marchand firing one at Sergei Bobrovsky that the Florida goalie initially stopped. But the puck got behind him and Marchand beats Marc Staal to it and cashes in on his own shot.
  • Panthers 2, Bruins 1 (18:52, 2nd): Despite being outplayed for much of the season, Florida takes the lead into the second break as Sam Bennett fires off a wrister from the slot and beats Ullmark for his third goal of the series — and second in as many games at the Garden.
  • Bruins 2, Panthers 2 (4:33, 3rd): With Aaron Ekblad in the penalty box for a second time, the Bruins cash in again as Marchand sends up a shot deflected in by Patrice Bergeron in his return to the lineup.
  • Panthers 3, Bruins 2 (5:14, 3rd): With Jakub Lauko in the penalty box for a second time, the Panthers finally cash in on the power play as they get their second of the series when Sam Reinhart fires off a heavy wrist shot from the mid-slot.
  • Bruins 3, Panthers 3 (9:16, 3rd): Taylor Hall tied the score again, scoring off a wristshot which deflected off of Staal defending in front and over Bobrovsky’s shoulder.
  • Panthers 4, Bruins 3 (6:05, OT): Matthew Tkachuk wins it for the Panthers as Ullmark comes out of his net, Verhaeghe throws one off of him and Tkachuk corrals it and sends it through. Verhaeghe ended with three primary assists.W Game 6 on Friday night in Sunrise.

GR’S 3 STARS OF GAME 5

1. Matthew Tkachuk, Florida

2. Sergei Bobrovsky, Florida

3. Brad Marchand, Boston

FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS, ROUND 1
BOSTON BRUINS (ATL1) VS. FLORIDA PANTHERS (WC2)
GAME 6 (Boston Leads 3-2)

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