The Florida Panthers were thought by many as nothing more than sacrificial lambs for the Boston Bruins in the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. But that’s not how things are unfolding the series, with the Panthers lasting for at least six games against the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Bruins following a series-extending 4-3 overtime win on the road Wednesday night.
Matthew Tkachuk, who delivered the dagger goal in Game 5 for the Panthers off of a netminding blunder from Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark, sounded off about the resiliency of his team.
“We were supposed to get swept in this series, right? I don’t think anybody really gave us a chance after losing two games in a row at home. … For us to come out with the start we did speaks a lot about our team, our preparation and our belief in each other,” the Panthers star forward said, per Jameson Olive.
Anthony Duclair put the Panthers on the board first in Game 5 with the only goal of the first period. That was answered in the second period by Brad Marchand of the Bruins to tie the game at 1-1 before the Panthers and Boston alternated in scoring goals, with Florida having the last laugh of the night, thanks to Tkachuk’s game-winner.
Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky put together a massive performance in front of the net for Florida, which got outshot by a wide margin by Boston, 47-25. Bobrovsky turned away 44 of 47 shots he faced and he could get the nod to start again in Game 6 at home.
The Bruins still lead the series 3-2, but the Panthers are proving to be more than a handful for Boston.
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