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May 7, 2024 12:48 pm

Bruins strive to return to Boston with 2-0 lead over Panthers

brandon carlo

The Boston Bruins will look to maintain the upper hand against the Florida Panthers on Wednesday when they play Game 2 of their Eastern Conference second-round series in Sunrise, Fla.

The Bruins won all four meetings against the Panthers in the regular season and recorded a 5-1 victory in the opener of the best-of-seven series on Monday.

Boston, however, won the opener of its first-round series against Florida last year — and three of the first four contests — before the Panthers rebounded to dispatch the then-Presidents’ Trophy winner in seven games.

This time, the Bruins came in off a high of winning Game 7 of their first-round series versus the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“Our confidence has gone to another level after pushing through the first round and I think that confidence makes you believe that you can (win),” Boston coach Jim Montgomery said. “It’s a great place to be mentally.”

Jeremy Swayman has been in a great place throughout the playoffs. Swayman, who made 38 saves in the series opener, has yielded two goals or fewer in each of his first seven starts this postseason.

“We had a lot of shots but he saw most of them,” Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov said of Swayman, who is 5-2-0 with a 1.42 goals-against average and .955 save percentage in the playoffs.

“Obviously, he’s a good goalie. He’s gonna stop them if he sees the puck. We need to work a little more and get in front of him.”

Boston’s Mason Lohrei collected a goal and an assist and fellow defenseman Brandon Carlo also tallied hours after his wife, Mayson, gave birth to the couple’s second child, a son named Crew.

“Man, I don’t celebrate often, but I raised my hands on that one,” Swayman said of his reaction to Carlo’s goal. “It’s so incredible what he did today, just the attitude that he brought. He was so excited.”

Carlo has enjoyed a whirlwind stretch. He assisted on star David Pastrnak’s overtime goal in the Bruins’ 2-1 victory over the Maple Leafs on Saturday night and became a dad to a son at approximately 3 a.m. on Monday. He then hopped on a plane and flew to Florida before joining his teammates approximately two hours before the start of Game 1.

“A pretty busy night, didn’t know if I was going to make it in time, but sure happy I did,” Carlo said.

Morgan Geekie, Justin Brazeau and Jake DeBrusk each scored a goal and Pavel Zacha notched two assists for the Bruins.

Matthew Tkachuk scored in the second period to extend his point streak to six games (four goals, six assists), the longest such run to open the postseason in Panthers’ franchise history. He has recorded a point in nine straight games (five goals, nine assists) dating back to the regular season.

“I liked our start, but I thought as we got through it we started to do some unusual things,” Florida coach Paul Maurice said. “That’s why it is a never-ending learning process for you to continue to cement what it takes to be good. I didn’t care for our game. I think we can fix a big chunk of the things we did wrong.”

–Field Level Media

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