BOSTON – Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 4-3 overtime loss to the Florida Panthers in Game 5 of their first round series at TD Garden on Wednesday night.
GOLD STAR: Carter Verhaeghe brought his A-game with Florida’s playoff life on the line and was extremely good in Game 5. He finished with a pair of assists and a plus-3 rating in his 19:16 of ice time and made a couple of big time plays while outworking the B’s in their own zone. The first was a simple interception of a Tyler Bertuzzi pizza thrown directly in front of the Boston net that was eventually finished by Anthony Duclair, and the second was Verhaeghe wheeling three Nick Foligno, Charlie Coyle and Derek Forbort waving at him with the puck before he fed Sam Bennett for the goal from the slot for a big-time gut punch score at the end of the second period. Verhaeghe didn’t even get an assist on the OT game-winner when he absolutely should have as the player that forced the Linus Ullmark turnover on the Matthew Tkachuk game-winner. The four shot attempts and two hits don’t tell the whole story of a Florida player that was dominant in a must-win game.
The definition of a “pizza” in the hockey dictionary pic.twitter.com/TTvnrIOtcj
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) April 26, 2023
BLACK EYE: Four shots on net, three giveaways and a minus-1 in 23:47 of ice time for David Pastrnak, who was once again held off the board in a game where one game-breaking play could have been in the difference in an overtime loss. There were mistakes made by other players, of course, as both Tyler Bertuzzi and Matt Grzelcyk had rough nights and Linus Ullmark was off his game a little bit as well. But the Boston Bruins need No. 88 to break through and begin scoring for them at some point in this playoff series and it certainly didn’t happen in a game where he missed the net with as many shots as he landed on Sergei Bobrovsky. Pastrnak is definitely struggling a bit right now.
TURNING POINT: The end of the third period nearly had a classic ending as Brad Marchand suddenly found himself on a breakaway in the closing seconds of regulation. Marchand got a great shot off that Sergei Bobrovsky made an excellent leg pad save on and then Aaron Ekblad very nearly threw the puck into the net after the Bobrovsky rebound came directly at him as he was diving to the Florida net. Instead, though, it was one of Bobrovsky’s 44 saves on the night in a game where he absolutely outplayed Linus Ullmark to keep the Panthers alive for at least one more game.
HONORABLE MENTION: Taylor Hall once again brought it for the Boston Bruins and scored a game-tying goal in the third period that gave him goals in four consecutive games in this playoff series. Hall, Charlie Coyle and Pavel Zacha were all very good in the Game 5 loss with Hall finished with the goal and as the only Bruins player with a positive plus/minus rating to go along with three shots on net, two hits, one giveaway and two blocked shots in 16:46 of ice time for the Black and Gold. Hall has been Boston’s best player for the balance of this first round series against Florida and that remained the case in Game 5, though Charlie McAvoy was another player that stood out with his 30:57 of ice time and two assists in the loss.
BY THE NUMBERS: 50 – the number of career Stanley Cup playoff goals for Patrice Bergeron, who scored in his first game back from injury after missing the first four games of this series with an upper body injury.
Bergy hits 5️⃣0️⃣ pic.twitter.com/UZFv6kCDeZ
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) April 27, 2023
QUOTE TO NOTE: “In Boston there has been. That’s for sure. For whatever reason, we didn’t start on time, and they were the better team in the first period. We tend to make big mistakes right now and I don’t know why [in the] last two games at home we don’t manage our ice or manage the puck.” –Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery on a Boston Bruins team that has yet to play a really strong game on home ice in their first-round playoff series against Florida.