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Talking Points: Boston Bruins Pounce On Panthers In Game 1

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BOSTON – Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 3-1 win over the Florida Panthers in Game 1 of their first round Stanley Cup playoff series on Monday night at TD Garden.

GOLD STAR: Tyler Bertuzzi had never suited up for a Stanley Cup playoff game during his long losing stretch with the Detroit Red Wings to start his NHL career. So it looked like Bertuzzi was playing like a man finally let out of hockey jail as he finished with a pair of assists and had a near goal on a slick setup pass from David Krejci that Alex Lyon needed to make an aggressive, quality save to stop. Bertuzzi started the game off with a no-looked backhanded pass to a wide-open David Pastrnak for an easy power play goal just a few minutes into the first period, and then launched the shot that ended up on Lyon’s leg pad for the Jake DeBrusk insurance score in the second period. In all Bertuzzi finished with the two assists, plus-1 rating, four shot attempts and a pair of hits to go along with a takeaway and two blocked shots in an impressive all-around performance. Bertuzzi is showing a flair for setting up No. 88 for goals. Players were going to need to step up with Patrice Bergeron out for Game 1 and Bertuzzi did just that.

BLACK EYE: It was obvious that the goaltending was going to be one of the big differences between the two teams in this series and that’s exactly what played out in the first game of the series. Florida outshot the Bruins 25-16 and actually controlled play for long stretches with a suffocating forecheck that gave Boston trouble. But third strong goalie Alex Lyon gave up a pair of soft goals during the game, first it was a Brad Marchand wrist shot from beyond the left circle that Lyon whiffed on with his glove hand and then it was a Tyler Bertuzzi shot that he left resting on his leg pad for Jake DeBrusk to knock into the net for the third insurance goal for Boston. In all Lyon allowed three goals on 16 shots and was outplayed by Linus Ullmark simply because the B’s goalie didn’t give up any soft goals.

TURNING POINT: The Boston Bruins didn’t play their best in Game 1, but they were helped along by a generous Florida bunch. It was Alex Lyon that really killed the Panthers in the second period when he put them in a 2-0 hole in the second period after completely missing Brad Marchand’s long-distance wrist shot from way beyond the left faceoff circle. Credit to the Panthers for still playing hard after that, but it’s going to be next-to-impossible to beat the Boston Bruins if your goalie is giving up multiple soft goals in a playoff game. The goal allowed to Marchand is as soft as it gets and could even prompt the Panthers to go with Sergei Bobrovsky in Game 2. It was that bad.

HONORABLE MENTION: In a game where the Boston Bruins were outshot by the Florida Panthers, it’s obviously incumbent on the B’s goalie to be on his game. Linus Ullmark was exactly that after not playing a game in almost a week after exiting last Tuesday night’s win over the Washington Capitals in the third period. Ullmark didn’t need to be amazing because the Panthers didn’t get a ton of chances off the rush or in the slot area, but they did get a lot of shots on the Boston net with traffic and bodies flying around the crease. Ullmark saved almost all of it with only an ill-conceived Dmitry Orlov turnover to Matt Tkachuk serving as Florida’s only shot that got past the B’s netminder.

BY THE NUMBERS: 1 —the number of goals for Matthew Tkachuk as he was definitely a factor in Game 1 for the Panthers even if the circumstances of the game didn’t work out for him.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “Lyon! Lyon! Lyon!” –The TD Garden crowd letting the inexperienced Florida Panthers goalie have it from the second period on when he allowed a pair of soft goals in the loss.

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