SUNRISE, FL – Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers in Game 3 of their first round playoff series at FLA Live Arena on Friday night.
GOLD STAR: Linus Ullmark called Charlie Coyle an “animal, through and through” after the Game 3 win and he really deserved every compliment being thrown his way. Coyle needed to step up with both David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron missing as top line centers, and he did exactly that while driving play for his line throughout the night. Coyle scored a goal while parked in front of the net as he tipped a Brad Marchand wrist shot past Alex Lyon, and he played 16:36 of bona fide playoff ice time while playing fast and strong at both ends of the ice. Coyle, by the way, decisively won the net-front battle with Aleksander Barkov to carve out his spot to score the important goal. Coyle finished with five shots on net and eight shot attempts overall, had a hit and a couple of takeaways and took 19 draws with No. 37 and No. 46 missing in a pivotal game. Coyle showed up big time and brought back shades of the player he was during the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs when he was an impact player for the B’s.
Charlie Coyle battles with Sasha Barkov down low and deflects one past Lyon.
2-0 Bruins. pic.twitter.com/4gYzT5kkQj
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) April 22, 2023
BLACK EYE: Once again Alex Lyon simply wasn’t good enough for the Florida Panthers and helped Boston seize the momentum when he was beaten low to his glove hand by a Taylor Hall wrist shot from a few steps inside the offensive blue line. Lyon was pulled from the game in the third period when David Pastrnak also beat him low glove hand with a wrist shot to make it a 4-0 lead for Boston, and Sergei Bobrovsky made his first appearance of the first round playoff series. One has to assume that Florida is going to go with “Bob” at this point down 2-1 in the series and looking to find some momentum after giving the home ice advantage in the series right back to Boston.
TURNING POINT: The Boston Bruins had a solid first period, but they really seized control of the game in the second period when they outshot the Panthers 12-4 and took a 2-0 lead in the second period. They had their best game in terms of breaking pucks out of their own zone, got to the inside ice regularly and effectively in the offensive zone and seemed to finally be playing with a Stanley Cup playoff level of dedication, sacrifice and intensity both offensively and defensively after taking a few games to reach that level. It really felt like they were ahead by three or four goals after dominating Florida in the second period and playing their best period of hockey in the series.
HONORABLE MENTION: Full credit to Nick Foligno, who started the day believing he was going to be a healthy scratch with Jakub Lauko getting into the fourth line mix. Instead Foligno was back in for Game 3 when David Krejci was a last minute scratch due to his upper body injury and he scored his first goal of the series on a tap-in off a stellar Taylor Hall centering pass in the third period. Hall was another player, like Foligno and Coyle, that enjoyed his best game of the series and really helped pull the sled for the Black and Gold while they were missing their two best centers in David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron.
BY THE NUMBERS: 2 – the number of consecutive playoff games that Taylor Hall has goals after scoring at the end of Game 2, and then getting Boston going with the first goal of the game in the first period in Game 3.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “We saw Boston Bruins hockey today. We’d had some passengers. We didn’t have any passengers today.” –Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery after the strongest win of the series thus far for the B’s in Game 3.