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Talking Points: Panthers Crush Sloppy Bruins 6-3 To Even Series



Boston Bruins

BOSTON – The Boston Bruins looked like they thought they could sleepwalk to another win, and the Panthers gave them a rude awakening in a 6-3 win in Game 2. The Eastern Conference quarterfinals series heads back to Florida tied at a game apiece with Game 3 on Friday and Game 4 on Sunday.

GOLD STAR: Former UMass-Amherst defenseman Brandon Montour had a breakout season with 70 points, and he showed why when he rifled one from downtown 22 seconds into the third period to give the Panthers a 3-2 lead they would not relinquish.

Montour would add another to make it 5-2 Panthers 12:30 into the final frame and finish with two goals, two shots, two hits, and was a plus 2 in 22:06.

BLACK EYE: The Boston Bruins were just a hot mess in their own end and trying to move the puck up ice pretty much the whole game. At times they were making blind passes out in front of their own net or up the middle, and the Panthers gladly obliged. What was so frustrating was even when that sloppy play in the defensive zone led to goals or Grade A scoring chances, the Bruins just kept doing it. What’s the definition of insanity again?

That lackadaisical play carried into the offensive zone as well and the Bruins either didn’t feel the need to adapt to the Panthers’ defensive setup or at times, couldn’t. The bottom line from this puck scribe is that the Bruins came into this game thinking they were going to walk through it, as they seemed to try to do for much of Game 1 but got away with it. In Game 2, they didn’t get away with anything.

TURNING POINT: Montour’s first goal seemed to take the air out of whatever little sails the Bruins had in this game as it was all downhill from there. Panthers forward Carter Verhaeghe made it 4-2 seven minutes into the third period, and then Montour padded the lead to 5-2 at 12:30 of the final frame.

HONORABLE MENTION: Sam Bennett hadn’t played a game since March 20, but he didn’t look like it. Bennett came out, fired up, and gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead 1:42 into the second period. Bennett finished with a goal, eight shots, and three hits. Clearly, he will be a factor in this series.

BY THE NUMBERS: 15 – As in 15 turnovers by the Boston Bruins in this game. As mentioned above, the Bruins were sloppy for the majority of this game. The Sam Bennett goal 1:42 into the second period was the result of multiple turnovers by the Bruins that led to total chaos up the middle of their defensive zone. Then the Eric Staal goal that put the Panthers up by a goal 14:18 into the middle frame came off a turnover as well.

Extra Honorable Mention: This puck scribe will admit then he’s wrong, and I was dead wrong knocking Panthers head coach Paul Maurice for going back to goalie Alex Lyon. Lyon was superb for the Panthers in Game 2, stopping 34 of 37 Bruins shots.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “I think it gives me pause to think about changes everywhere.” – Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery when asked if ‘tonight’s game gave him pause to think about changes on the backend?’

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