Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 7-5 loss to the Florida Panthers in Game 6 of the first round series at FLA Live Arena on Friday night.
GOLD STAR: Matthew Tkachuk has been the dominant force in this series and credit where it’s due after he backed up his talk about the series going to a Game 7 back in Boston.
“We’ll be back here for 7.” 👀
— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) April 27, 2023
Tkachuk finished with a pair of goals and three points, and already has four multi-point games in this series that’s only had six games played overall. The two goals and three points in 20:38 of ice time and had eight shot attempts while winning plenty of battles along the way, and is turning into the player that’s really controlling things the most of both teams. The Bruins have to try and figure out a way to contain him a little bit better in Game 7, but that’s difficult to do when it feels like Aleksander Barkov is beginning to find his game as well after a quiet playoff series to this point.
BLACK EYE: There were a number of players having a tough time in Game 6 in Florida, but Connor Clifton was a liability from beginning to end after replacing Matt Grzelcyk in the lineup for the first time in four games. Clifton started by taking a bad roughing penalty in the first period and followed that up by throwing a ghastly turnover into the neutral zone that Nick Cousins turned into a 2-on-1 that Matthew Tkachuk banged home on the rebound. Clifton doubled down on the bad play by not really playing good defense on the 2-on-1 afterward, and it snowballed from there as he finished a minus-3 in 13:02 of ice time. Certainly it felt like Matt Grzelcyk was much less of a problem when he was on the ice in the previous three games, so it didn’t feel like a good lineup change for the Black and Gold.
TURNING POINT: The Boston Bruins appeared to be taking control of the game in the second period after they tied things up 2-2, and then scored a go-ahead goal when Brandon Carlo fired a puck through heavy traffic in front of the net. The Florida Panthers challenged that there was a hand pass leading up to the goal, and sure enough there was a sequence where Jake DeBrusk’s gloved fingertips grazed the puck before Patrice Bergeron took control eventually leading to the Carlo score. It didn’t look like a hand pass in the offensive zone, but the NHL clearly thought it was by overturning the goal and stopping Boston’s momentum cold at that point in the game. There were many goals scored afterward by both sides, but that was a key turning point in the game.
HONORABLE MENTION: David Pastrnak was called out a bit for not producing enough offense in the first five games of the series, but he was a dominant force in Game 6 while scoring a pair of power play goals. His shot through the legs while pivoting backwards to the net was highlight reel material in the second period, and he followed that up with a scorched one-timer in the third period during a crazy back-and-forth scoring sequence. Pastrnak finished with eight shots on net and 12 shot attempts in 20:33 of ice time, and his performance all over the offensive zone was really the only encouraging development from an otherwise forgettable, mistake-filled B’s chance to close out the series in six games.
BY THE NUMBERS: 7 – Nobody predicted that the Bruins would be pushed to a seventh playoff game by the Florida Panthers, but that’s exactly what we will have on Sunday in Boston.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “I just couldn’t make one more save. That’s it. Sometimes that’s just part of the game where that happens and today was one of those games. Today was just one of those days.” –Linus Ullmark on a loss to the Florida Panthers where he gave up 6 goals on 32 shots in his second straight uncharacteristic performance.