The Bruins historic season ends in a disaster

The Boston Bruins fall short of their goal, as they taste defeat to the Florida Panthers.


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Disappointment is often immeasurable, but the 17,850 fans at the TD Garden felt it as the Boston Bruins lost Game 7 to the Florida Panthers 4-3 in overtime. The Bruins held a 3-1 in the series and had countless chances to win the series, but they just couldn’t kill off the Panthers.

The Bruins didn’t start the game well. They squandered an early power play chance only getting one shot on goal, ending with the Bruins giving up a penalty of their own to the Panthers when forward Taylor Hall got called for tripping.

The Panthers capitalized on this chance with a power play goal scored by defenseman Brandon Montour. It didn’t get better for the Bruins as they started the second period off slow again – l this time giving up an early goal on a giveaway by their defense. Panthers forward Sam Reinhart potted it home to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead.

The Bruins would get one back thanks to forward David Krejci on a power play goal around the seven-minute mark. The Bruins ended the period strong with a power play carrying into the third period. 

Needing to tie the game up, the Bruins would score on the power play to start the third period. 

The play started with a great pass by goalie Jeremy Swayman to Krejci, which got the Bruins into the offensive zone. Krejci handed the puck off to defenseman Dmitry Orlov, whose shot would be redirected into the goal by forward Tyler Bertuzzi to tie the game at two a piece.

About four minutes later the Bruins would take the lead for the first time in the game. Defenseman Brandon Carlo would lead the rush into the Panther’s zone getting off a shot. The shot rebounded right into the path of forward David Pastrnak who scored, firing up the Bruins faithful.

The last 10 minutes of the third period would be an onslaught from the Panthers, giving everything they had to tie the game. With 59 seconds remaining in the game, the Panthers pulled their goalie for an extra attacker to tie the game. The Bruins were too stagnant and pragmatic in trying to protect their lead and struggled to clear the puck out of their zone.

Montour would strike again tying the game up from a feed from forward Aleksander Barkov. The game would head to overtime, setting up a fitting ending to the series.

The Bruins had a good chance to win the game in the first minute of overtime with a shot from Pastrnak that was saved by the stick of Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. The Panthers had a chance to win on a breakaway from forward Matthew Tkachuk. Swayman came up big with a save to keep the Bruins alive.

The Achilles heel of the Bruins the entire series was their tendency to create self-inflicted wounds. Once again the Bruins would be pragmatic in trying to clear the zone. The puck would be stuck behind the goal, and the Panthers got it loose for forward Carter Verhseghe to snipe home the game-winning goal to send the Panthers to the second round.

Although goaltending and defense were seen as the strengths for the Bruins in the playoff it was their weakness. Coming into the series one thing you could give the Bruins was their stellar defense and goalkeeping. In the last three games of the series, the Bruins gave up 15 goals to the Panthers. A team that gave up the fewest goals in the regular season gave up the most in the first round of the playoffs.

The Bruins defensive group just kept making mistakes in their own zone due to the Panthers forechecking and pressure. It was uncharacteristic of this team to be doing that. Bruins top goalie Linus Ullmark also suffered an injury against the Washington Capitals on Apr. 11 that made him look uncomfortable in the net and slow to get up while down. 

Ullmark showed the injury was causing him pain looking like a shell of himself in Games 5 and 6, giving up soft goals. Regardless of that, the Bruins defense gave the Panthers the series and now pay the consequence of being eliminated.

“I guess the words that come to mind right now is disappointment, confusion,” said Coach Jim Montgomery. “I thought Florida was the better team tonight.” 

An emotional Patrice Bergeron would salute the fans as he exited the ice tonight, leaving room for lots of speculation if this is the end for him and Krejci.

“I gotta take some time and talk with the family and go from there,” said Bergeron “Right now, it’s hard to process anything. Obviously, we’re shocked and disappointed.”

The Panthers will face the Toronto Maple Leafs in the next round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. As for the Bruins, it’s going to be a long and painful offseason of what could have been.

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