Home Sports Game 5 takeaways: McAvoy steps up as Bruins beat Panthers, force Game 6

Game 5 takeaways: McAvoy steps up as Bruins beat Panthers, force Game 6

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Game 5 takeaways: McAvoy steps up as Bruins beat Panthers, force Game 6

Game 5 Takeaways: McAvoy steps up as Bruins beat Panthers to force Game 6 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Bruins avoided elimination with a hard-fought victory in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference second-round playoff series against the Florida Panthers.

A great start, a much better penalty kill and another solid performance in net from Jeremy Swayman helped propel the Bruins to a 2-1 victory Tuesday night at Amerant Bank Arena.

The Bruins entered the third period of Game 4 with a 2-1 lead. but couldn’t finish the job in a 3-2 loss. They also took a 2-1 lead into the third period of Game 5, and this time Boston closed out the scoring.

The Panthers made a strong effort in the final three minutes of the third period with the goaltender pulled and the extra attacker on the ice. The Bruins blocked six shots during that crucial stretch and Swayman made a big save in the final seconds.

The Bruins have never won a playoff series while trailing 3-1 (0-25 all-time), but they only need two more wins to change that. The series now moves to Game 6 in Boston on Friday. But before we look ahead to that matchup, here are three takeaways from Bruins-Panthers Game 5.

Strong start for the Bruins

Mark Messier on the ESPN broadcast called the first 20 minutes of the game the best period of the series for the Bruins, and he might be right.

The Bruins had 12 shots on net, their highest total in a period since the first 20 minutes of Game 1. They maintained a 21-10 advantage in shot attempts and a 12-4 advantage in shots despite the Panthers had the only power play. in the period.

Boston opened the scoring at 4:49 when Morgan Geekie made a nice play to beat Florida goalie Sergei Bobrovsky for his second goal of the series. Jake DeBrusk received the first assist after making a nice pass from behind the goal line.

The Bruins were also much more effective at evading the Panthers’ aggressive forechecking by making quick, accurate passes out of the defensive zone. From a defensive perspective, the B’s did not allow any high-danger opportunities after giving up eight in the first half of Game 4.

The Bruins not only had the lead after the period, but they also tilted the ice in their favor for most of the first 20 minutes. They played with the right combination of poise and desperation.

charlie mcavoy so far he hasn’t played his best hockey in the playoffsbut he took a step forward in Game 5 with a great performance.

After not scoring a single shot on net in the first four matchups of the series, McAvoy recorded six on Tuesday night. One of them beat Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky in the second period to put Boston ahead 2-1. It was a great goal for the B’s because the Panthers had tied the score just four minutes earlier.

This goal broke a 29-game playoff goal drought for McAvoy. The last time he scored a goal in the postseason was in Game 1 of the 2021 second-round series against the New York Islanders.

McAvoy also earned an assist on Geekie’s goal for his first point in eight games.

He finished with one goal, one assist, six shots, four blocks and three hits in 23:26 of ice time. McAvoy also made a couple of big plays in the final three minutes of the game to help clear the puck out of the defensive zone when the Panthers had the extra attacker.

Bruins’ penalty kill shows big improvement

The Bruins’ penalty kills were 3-for-3 in Game 1 of the series, but the next three matchups saw a sharp decline in their ability to not only stay out of the penalty box but also defend the Panthers’ power play.

The Bruins gave up six power play goals in Games 2, 3 and 4 combined. Boston’s penalty kill fared much better in Game 5 with a perfect 4-for-4 performance.

The most decisive penalty came in the third period, when the Bruins committed their sixth (!) penalty with too many men on the ice. The Panthers had a couple of good looks at the net on that power play, but the Bruins’ penalty kill did enough to preserve the one-goal lead.

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