By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter@pastagrl88
There were few question marks coming into tonight’s matchup against the Florida Panthers as a “bug” made its way through the locker room leaving several players under the weather. Despite not having their team Captain Patrice Bergeron and goaltender Linus Ullmark being a game-time decision, this group showed no lack of confidence as they take Game One in the First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Tonight’s matchup at the TD Garden wasn’t exactly pretty however a stellar performance in the net by Ullmark proved to be one of the key factors in tonight’s win. Special teams were also critical in the match-up against a Florida team looking to prove they are on par with the Bruins.
Boston had an early scoring chance in the first few minutes of the opening period as Florida’s Aaron Eklbad was assessed a tripping minor against David Pastrnak giving the B’s an early powerplay.
Moments after the Panthers killed off the penalty, the Bruins were back on the powerplay when Givani Smith skated off to the penalty box on an interference call against Trent Frederic.
Pastrnak wristed his first goal of the series during the man-advantage scoring off a feed from Tyler Bertuzzi right in front of the net. Boston continued to have a tough time keeping the puck out of their own zone as Florida dominated gameplay in the first two periods. The Bruins would end the period on the penalty kill as Charlie McAvoy sat out on a cross-checking infraction.
END OF FIRST PERIOD: BOS-1, FLA-0
SHOTS ON GOAL: BOS-8, FLA-15
Florida’s powerplay continued over into the beginning of the second period but were unable to generate any scoring opportunities. Brad Marchand made it 2-0 as his shot bounced off the glove of Florida’s goaltender Alex Lyon.
Matthew Tkachuk cut the Bruins’ lead in half after picking up an errant pass from Dmitry Orlov, scoring at 6:34 into the second period. A wild save robbed the Bruins’ chance of widening the lead as Lyon windmilled in the net to stop a cross-ice scoring chance by Trent Frederic.
With lots of traffic in front of Florida’s net, the Bruins’ Jake DeBrusk was able to poke in a loose puck past Lyon to give the team a 3-1 lead at 17:32.
END OF SECOND PERIOD: BOS-3, FLA-1
SHOTS ON GOAL: BOS-8 FLA-9
Boston’s gameplay was more consistent in the final period as the team spent more time down Florida’s zone. The team had multiple scoring chances that were stifled by Alex Lyon as shots looked to be more even. Boston’s penalty kill and Ullmark’s netminder skills limited the Panthers’ shots on goal.
Florida would challenge a goal by Garnet Hathaway for goalie interference after the puck appeared to be knocked out of Lyon’s glove. After a quick review, the play was ruled a no-goal. With minutes left in the period, the Bruins continued to control gameplay as they defeat the Florida Panthers 3-1 in Game One.
FINAL SCORE: BOS-3, FLA-1
TOTAL SHOTS ON GOAL: BOS-29, FLA 32
Brad Marchand joins Cam Neely as the only player in franchise history to tally 50 career playoff goals. Tonight’s win is Linus Ullmark’s first career Playoff win while Tyler Bertuzzi notched his first-ever career Playoff points in tonight’s win. Charlie Coyle also played his 100th career Playoff Game.
NEXT GAME: Boston Bruins face the Florida Panthers on April 19th @ TD Garden with puck drop at 7:30 pm
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