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Home Not So Sweet Home

April 27, 2023, 1:29 PM ET [33 Comments]
Anthony Travalgia
Boston Bruins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Bruins knew entering Game 5, they’d be hosting a desperate Panthers team looking to keep their season alive with a win in Boston.

The Panthers came out and threw their biggest punches of the series and even then, it took two Bruins blunders and two gifts to the Panthers to extend the series to Friday and a Game 6 in Florida.

The Bruins erased deficits of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 before series villain Matthew Tkachuk ended things in overtime.

“We tend to make big mistakes right now, I don’t know why, the last two games at home. We don’t manage our ice or manage the puck, it’s one of the two, and it ends up; when you’re chasing the game like we did all night, one to zero, one to one, two to one, two to two, three to two, three to three, and then obviously you can't chase the game anymore, you spend a lot of energy,” said head coach Jim Montgomery.

“I thought the energy that we spent in the second and the third trying to tie the game up—I didn’t think we were as sharp in overtime.”

The Bruins first costly blunder of the night came when Tyler Bertuzzi blindly sent a pass to open ice in the middle of the ice. The puck perfectly found the stick of Carter Verhaeghe who shipped it off to Anthony Duclair for the first goal of the game.

“We just have to do a little better job of starting on time and playing the right way all through the game. We’ve got to give them credit, they’re a good team. A lot of depth on that side, so they’re going to make plays,” Brad Marchand said. “We do need to be better at times with the puck and manage it a little bit better.”

After Taylor Hall tied the game at three with his team-leading fifth playoff goal, the Bruins had a golden opportunity to end the game in the final seconds of regulation.

After the Bruins iced the puck with eight seconds left, Sam Reinhart won an offensive zone faceoff. Marchand was able to poke the puck free and race in all alone on Panthers’ goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, Bobrovsky making the stop, his biggest of the night.

“Yeah, it was tough. I was racing against the clock, and I was trying to count down, I kind of glanced up to see how much time was left and I was trying to get as close as I could with where I thought the time was,” Marchand said. “Had to rush the shot but wouldn’t mind having that one back.”

As ugly as Bertuzzi’s first period blunder was, Linus Ullmark’s overtime “hold my beer” moment was, well, worse.

Ullmark fumbled the puck behind his own net after a Panthers’ dump in, fell to the ice, had the puck bounce off his pads and onto the stick of Tkachuk.

While Ullmark’s gaff sent the Bruins faithful home in anger, the veteran goalie quickly shook it off and is ready to move onto Game 6.

“I tried to send it out into the corner a little bit and bypass him, and [Verhaeghe] made a good play cashing in,” Ullmark said. “We’ve got to be better for the next one and start on time. That’s including me, I’m guilty of that as well. It’s a new day tomorrow.”

The Bruins sent 47 pucks on goal, 44 of those Bobrovsky stopped. While the shot volume was high, I felt the Bruins didn’t make things difficult on Bobrovsky until the third period. There were a lot of soft shots from the point and not much traffic moving around the crease.

Of those 47 shots, four came off the stick of David Pastrnak who continues to struggle in the series with just two goals. Pastrnak has not registered an assist in the series.

“You know, the puck’s not going in for him right now. It’s just a matter of time,” Montgomery said. “I thought he worked really hard, I thought he won a lot of battles, I thought he was more involved, maybe than he was the first two games at home. But it’s just a matter of time, he’s just too good.”

The Bruins got an immediate boost from Patrice Bergeron who made his series debut on Wednesday. Bergeron certainly did not miss a beat, picking up an important power play goal and winning 13 of his 18 faceoffs.

“I felt good. Obviously needed a few shifts to get back into the rhythm. Getting back into the playoffs is a different animal than getting back into the regular season,” Bergeron said. “The pace is a lot higher. But that being said, I felt pretty good.”

The Bruins hope to not have to figure out their home-ice woes until next round, looking to avoid a Game 7 in Boston by ending their series with the Panthers down in Sunrise.

“We’re a confident team. We have to start on time. I think if we start on time and we play the way we did in the second and third period right off the bat, it’s going to give us the best chance at coming out with the series,” Hall said.

“They’re going to play desperate. They’re going to want to win a game at home as well. It’s going to take everyone and it’s going to take our best effort to beat these guys down there. They’re not going to quit. They don’t want their season to end and they showed it tonight”
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