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Bruins Take 2-1 Series Lead – How Can Panthers Win Game 3?

The NHL playoffs are in full force and my favorite series in the first round is living up to the expectations. The Bruins took a commanding 2-1 series lead over the Panthers in 4-2 victory on Friday night.

Bruins Take 2-1 Series Lead

It was announced early on in the day that backup goaltender jeremy swayman would be between the pipes for game 3, but the Bruins made a game time decision to slot Ullmark in. The decision was so swift that the starting lineups being displayed on the jumbotron included Swayman as the starting goalie, not Ullmark.

However the move ended up coming to be, it was the right one, as Ullmark stone walled the panthers until there were around 5 minutes left, when the panthers were able to break up Ullmark’s shutout bid.

The Bruins got out to an early 1-0 lead in the first period and would pad their lead in the second period to 2-0. The Panthers showed very little fight and retaliation much of the night – it seemed like they had given up on the offensive side of things.

The Panthers did themselves and goalie Alex Lyon no favors by taking 18 minutes in penalties. Speaking of Lyon, the “Lion King” was pulled in favor of Sergei Bobrovsky with about 8 minutes left in the third period, once the Panthers trailed by a score of 3-0.

It felt as though that once the Panthers were trailing in the game, their focus failed to turn to the offense. The panthers were continuously focused on body checks and being physical against the bruins. It dumbfounds me why an especially offensively-skilled team would think a low-scoring and physical affair would benefit them in a home game that they (theoretically) should be able to control the pace of.

It will be interesting to see whether the Panthers pulled Lyon to preserve his energy or if the team is intending on moving in a different direction from the breakout goalie.

The series now stands as 2 games to 1, Boston. The Panthers have one more home game before heading back to TD Garden where they will be massive underdogs on the sportsbooks. The Panthers currently sit at +130 to win on Sunday Afternoon. It remains to be seen if the team will adjust and play with some fire, given the series circumstances.

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