The good news for the Boston Bruins on Thursday was that captain Patrice Bergeron skated before the team flew to South Florida to take on the Panthers in Game 3.
But was he on that southbound plane?
Rumor is he was not.
UPDATE: He did not travel to South Florida and is not expected back until possibly Game 5.
Bergeron has not played in the first two games with the Bruins saying Game 1 was due to an illness but missing Wednesday was likely stemming from an upper-body injury he sustained in the season finale against the Canadiens.
“He skated just now, so that’s a real positive sign,” Boston coach Jim Montgomery said per Boston Hockey Now on Thursday morning.
“But I haven’t talked to the athletic or medical trainer about where he’s at as far as coming with us on the trip. … He’s in real good spirits mentally and physically; he just wishes he could be on the ice with us right now.”
The Boston Bruins could also have another lineup change on Friday night as defenseman Matt Grzelcyk could replace Derek Forbort.
“I think transition hockey, and I think the one thing about Gryzzy’s game that is very underrated is how he kills plays before they end up in our own end,” Montgomery said.
“His great feet, angles, and ability to gap up on people force turnovers or maintain pucks in the offensive zone or three-quarter ice, which really allows us to get to our game. So I think he can benefit us in those areas.”
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW
This playoff series between the Panthers and Bruins has gotten physical and it has also gotten pretty personal at least when it came to the barbs being tossed by Matthew Tkachuk late in the third period on Wednesday night.
Should be a fun one tonight in Sunrise.
- Florida coach Paul Maurice did not waste any time in moving around his top three lines on Wednesday night and the moves paid off handsomely.
- So, who do the Panthers start in Game 3? Come on, Alex Lyon will be in for an 11th consecutive start. He was terrific again on Wednesday.
- The Florida Panthers have plenty of respect for the Bruins but certainly do not look in awe of the Bruins much less have played scared in this series.
- How much was Sam Bennett missed by the Panthers? I think we saw his importance to this team in Game 2 as he returned from his injuryand looked like he did not miss a step.
- I visit NHL Network from Marlins Park to talk about the Florida Panthers going into Game 2.
- Jessica Blaylock also previews Game 2 on NHL Network.
- Lucas Carlsson is having himself quite the season for the Charlotte Checkers. Not only did he score in a Game 1 loss to Lehigh Valley but he led them to a win in Game 2. The decisive Game 3 is tonight in Charlotte.
- Florida GM Bill Zito spoke on a variety of subjects on Sunday before flying to Boston including that while the Panthers have a great “opportunity’’ if front of them, the playoffs were always expected. Even though, at times, it did not look like they were going to make it.
- A boatload of video from the past few days is up on the FHN YouTube Channel including postgame reaction from Paul Maurice, Tkachuk, Bennett, Brandon Montour and Lyon. There is also a bundle of pregame stuff as well fro Boston.
- To see all the videos, you can click the embedded videos below or head directly to the FHN YouTube Channel RIGHT HERE to see everything all in one place. If you hit subscribe (it’s free), you will know when new content comes up.
NHL NEWS/NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW
The New York Rangers took care of business in Game 2, handedly defeating the Devils 5-1 on Thursday to take a commanding 2–0 series lead.
The series now heads to the Garden.
Meanwhile, the Toronto Maple Leafs evened up their series with the Tampa Bay Lightning, beating them 7-2.
- The Colorado Avalanche erased a two-goal deficit to defeat the Seattle Kraken 3-2 and even up their series at 1-1.
- Jack Eichel’s first-career playoff goal helped the Vegas Golden Knights even up their series with the Winnipeg Jets with a Game 2 victory.
- Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Jan Rutta had a core muscle surgery, but he will be ready for training camp in September.
- San Jose Sharks forward Kevin Labanc talked about the possibility of a trade after a disappointing 2022-23 campaign.
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS, ROUND 1
BOSTON BRUINS (ATL1) VS. FLORIDA PANTHERS (WC2)
GAME 3 (Series tied 1-1)
- When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
- Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, TNT
- Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- Regular Season Series (Tied 2-2): @Boston 5, Florida 3 (Oct. 17); @Florida 5, Boston 2 (Nov. 23); @Boston 7, Florida 3 (Dec. 19); @Florida 4, Boston 3 OT (Jan. 28)
- Last Season: Boston won 2-1
- All-time Regular Season Series: Boston leads 60-38-6, 6 ties
- Playoff History (Florida leads 1-0): Panthers 4-1, 1996 (first round)
- First Round Schedule — Game 1: @Boston 3, Florida 1; Game 2: Florida 6, @Boston 3; Game 3: at Florida, Friday, 7:30 (BSF, TNT); Game 4: at Florida, Sunday, 3:30 (BSF, TNT); Game 5: at Boston, Wednesday, April 26 TBD (BSF, TBA); Game 6*: at Florida, Friday, April 28; Game 7*: at Boston, Sunday, April 30. (*) — If Necessary.