Three Takeaways From The Boston Bruins Game 1 Victory Over the Florida Panthers

Photo: Frank Gunn via The Canadian Press

As the Boston Bruins prepared for Game 1 of their second-round matchup with the Florida Panthers, the concern was the quick turnaround of less than 48 hours between Boston’s Game 7 overtime win over Toronto and the opening game of the next series in Sunrise, Florida. Would fatigue play a factor as the Bruins switched gears and turned their focus to a Panthers team that defeated Boston in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs last season? Florida won their opening-round series over Tampa Bay in five games and were waiting for Boston to arrive Monday night. The Bruins showed anything but tired legs in a resounding 5-1 win to take a 1-0 series lead over Florida. Here are three takeaways from Boston’s victory:

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The Bruins Defensemen Providing Offense Now

Before Game 7 against Toronto, the Bruins were struggling with 5-on-5 offense, and the defensive corps had chipped in just one goal in the series. That began to change with Hampus Lindholm’s goal with less than nine minutes remaining to tie the decisive game at 1 apiece. Lindholm then dropped a dime of an indirect pass to a streaking David Pastrnak, who finished the play for a 2-1 win in overtime and a series clincher. Those two plays have seemed to light a fire under the Bruins’ blue liners as Mason Lohrei and Brandon Carlo each scored top-shelf snipes in the Bruins’ win on Monday. Lohrei adds another dynamic to the Boston lineup that should create more scoring chances. The offense from Boston’s defense is sorely needed and provides the secondary scoring that Boston needs if they are to advance past the second round.

Related Post: An Old Concern For the Bruins Has Returned

Rookie Justin Brazeau Is An Unlikely Contributor

The 6-foot-5, 220-pound forward scored five goals in 19 games toward the end of the regular season before suffering a shoulder injury that caused the 26-year-old to miss the beginning of the Toronto series. Brazeau has picked up where he left off with solid play as the undrafted winger provides size and ability to go to the net as he did on Monday with an insurance goal on a partial breakaway. Brazeau, with Trent Frederic and James Van Riemsdyk, have formed a line that is creating chances and a favorable matchup for Boston. Look for Brazeau to stay in the lineup to match the Panthers’ size and physicality.

It is Jeremy Swayman’s Net. Period.

Swayman has been the best goaltender in the Stanley Cup playoffs and never was that more evident than in the first five minutes of the third period of Monday night’s game. The Florida Panthers peppered Swayman with 11 shots on goal in that timeframe as they tried to come back from a 3-1 deficit. The flurry of offense was handled with tremendous poise by Swayman, who kept Florida off the scoreboard. After a timeout from Head Coach Jim Montgomery, the Bruins responded with their best defensive effort of the night and thwarted any potential threats from the Panthers. The key to the win was Swayman, who is playing the best hockey of his career. Any thoughts of a rotation with Linus Ullmark going forward should be put to rest now.

The Bruins have a 1-0 series lead as the underdog in their series with Florida. There is still a long way to go, but it seems that the momentum from their Game 7 victory is clearly in the favor of the Black and Gold.

Season 3. Episode 43. Goal Scorers and A-Holes Bruins Benders Podcast

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  1. Season 3. Episode 43. Goal Scorers and A-Holes
  2. Season 3. Episode 42. Long Off-season Week 2
  3. Season 3. Episode 41. Long Off-Season Week 1
  4. Season 3. Episode 40. There’s Always Next Year
  5. Bruins Benders Postgame Live. Game 6 Recap

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