The Bruins bounced back from a poor performance on Wednesday to beat Florida 4-2 and regain the series lead 2-1. 

Boston controlled the flow of play for the bulk of the night, rarely giving Florida any good chances. Despite not having Patrice Bergeron or David Krejci in the lineup, the Bruins held Florida to just twelve shots through two periods.

They also looked significantly more composed in puck possession, particularly in the defensive end. Matt Grzelcyk’s return to the lineup signaled a desire for quicker and cleaner breakouts to neutralize Florida’s aggressive forechecking.

Following criticism of their physicality in Game Two, Charlie McAvoy immediately set the tone by leveling Eetu Luostarinen right off the face-off. He would later add another highlight reel bulldozing on Anton Lundell. The Bruins did not let up all night long and finished with 41 total hits.

Taylor Hall put Boston on the board just two minutes into the game, picking up a sweet feed from Dmitry Orlov and wiring a wrist shot from just inside the blue line that beat Alex Lyon up high.

It was a badly needed confidence booster for the Bruins, and they took full advantage.

Charlie Coyle doubled the lead in the second period, tipping home Brad Marchand’s shot after some excellent board possession work by Marchand to find space for a look.

David Pastrnak broke the game open in the third, sneaking behind the defense with another great feed from Orlov and beating Lyon to the glove side.

That would be the night’s end for Lyon, as he was pulled in favor of Sergei Bobrovsky. Nick Foligno would tack on a fourth a few minutes later, effectively putting the game beyond doubt.

Florida got on the board with five minutes to play when Gustav Forsling converted a 2-on-1 shorthanded chance.

The goal sparked life in the Panthers, as they would bombard the Bruins in a desperate comeback attempt. 

Sam Reinhart stuffed another goal behind Ullmark a minute later to cut into the Boston lead, despite a whistle being blown while the puck was loose.

The Bruins held strong the rest of the way and sealed the win to reclaim the home-ice advantage.

Key Takeaways

  • It looks like the Bruins have found Alex Lyon’s weak spot. For all the big saves he’s made in this series, his glove hand has been very vulnerable. Both Hall and Pastrnak beat him glove side, and Marchand has already done so twice.
  • Charlie Coyle has been magnificent in this series as a shutdown center. He especially rose to the occasion last night after Krejci was a last-minute scratch.
  • The emphasis on defensive breakouts was very visible, and Dmitry Orlov thrived with a renewed license to fire the puck up ice.
  • The reactionary goalie debate should be put back to bed. Ullmark had a huge bounce-back game, stopping 29 shots and keeping a shutout for 55 minutes. Per, he saved almost a goal and a half more than he should’ve.

Game Four will be a Sunday matinee at 3:30 puck drop, where the Bruins will have the opportunity to set up a clincher back in Boston.

Featured Image: Boston Bruins Twitter

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