The NHL playoffs kicked off Monday night with the first four games failing to disappoint. One of the bigger games of the night included the No. 1 seed Boston Bruins against the No. 8 seed Florida Panthers. The game ended in a 3-1 defeat for the Panthers.
The Bruins had a record-setting season this year in both points (135) and wins (65). Their dominance throughout the regular season makes them a standout favorite not only in this series, but for the Stanley Cup.
On the other hand, the Panthers had to make a late season run to slip into the playoffs this season. After being the first seed in last season’s playoffs, they disappointed this year. Florida has a tall mountain to climb if they are going to stop Boston’s historic run.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 16, 2023
Bruins Show Out
In game one, it was all Bruins. The TD Garden was bumping all night, fueling their hometown team. The scoring started early with winger David Pastrnak netting one in the first period. The President’s Trophy winners then went up 2-0 early in the second with a goal from Brad Merchand coming off of an error from Florida goaltender Alex Lyon.
The Panthers were able to pull a single goal back from Matthew Tkachuk to cut the lead to 2-1 but were never able to bring the game back against Boston. A final goal from Boston late in the second period put the game out of reach.
A standout from the game was Boston goaltender Linus Ullmark. The goalie took home honors this season after a historic year and recorded 31 saves on Monday. The Boston defense had a lockdown performance in the third period specifically, shutting down any opportunity at goal from the Panthers.
Another major story was the absence of Boston captain Patrice Bergeron due to illness. As their main distributor, it was thought that they may struggle, but with two assists, Tyler Bertuzzi was able to control the pace of the game.
Panthers Eye Game Two
After a disappointing start to the series for the Panthers, they have one more chance to take an away victory and the advantage in the series. The team is still confident that they can pull off an upset in the series. Although they may have had a tough initial game, a win on Wednesday in the Garden can shift the momentum of the series in their direction. Here’s what Florida’s Matthew Tkachuk had to say about the game.
"I've seen a lot of things. I think we can hang with these guys. I was happy with some parts of our game, and others we can definitely work on."@JamesonCoop has the recap from Game 1 against the Bruins » https://t.co/mQqKJz8gPE pic.twitter.com/oLMwY9g4v0
— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) April 18, 2023
Puck drops on Wednesday at 7:30 in Boston.