Panthers scratch and claw their approach to additional time win, stave off elimination

The Florida Panthers watched Bruins ahead Brad Marchand skate in alone on goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, with the seconds ticking away within the third interval of a 3-3 recreation.

If Marchand scores, Florida’s season is over.

“I knew it wasn’t getting in,” Panthers coach Paul Maurice mentioned, earlier than admitting that he was mendacity. “You possibly can’t know that it wasn’t getting in, so I am stuffed with (it) after I simply mentioned that to you.


Matthew Tkachuk celebrates

Florida Panthers left wing Matthew Tkachuk (19) celebrates scoring the game-winning purpose towards the Boston Bruins throughout additional time of Recreation 5 within the first spherical of the NHL hockey playoffs, Wednesday, April 26, 2023, in Boston.  (Alokito Mymensingh 24 Photograph/Charles Krupa)

“However I don’t really feel like we’ve had an entire lot of benefit on this collection, within the karma of the sport,” Maurice mentioned after Bobrovsky’s save with 1 second left despatched the sport into additional time, the place Matthew Tkachuk gained it. “I simply felt that we had saved sufficient karma that that shot wouldn’t go in.”

Tkachuk scored six minutes into additional time, and Bobrovsky stopped 44 pictures to assist the Panthers beat the Bruins 4-3 on Wednesday night time and pressure their first-round playoff collection again to Florida for a sixth recreation.

One recreation after Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark tried to struggle Tkachuk, the Panthers ahead took benefit of Ullmark’s sloppy puck play behind the web to chop Boston’s lead within the best-of-seven collection to 3-2.

“A little bit little bit of pinball and it by some means acquired proper on my stick. I made certain to place it dwelling,” Tkachuk mentioned. “Bob made a hell of a save, in any other case our season’s over. … Issues occur quick in playoffs.”

Anthony Duclair, Sam Bennett and Sam Reinhart additionally scored — each giving the Panthers a lead. Tkachuk additionally drew a penalty after which assisted on the power-play purpose that gave Florida a 3-2 lead 5 minutes into the third interval.

After Boston tied it — and Bobrovsky preserved the lead — Marchand’s move to Pavel Zacha on the level within the Florida zone skidded all the way in which down the ice and behind the Boston internet. Ullmark carelessly performed it proper to Carter Verhaeghe within the nook; he shot it off Ullmark’s leg, and it bounced to Tkachuk within the slot.

He flipped it over to his backhand and beat the badly out of place goalie.

“That man is a — and then you definitely put an extended string of profanity — gamer,” Maurice mentioned. “He’s only a gamer. Use your individual phrases.”

Bruins players walk off the ice

The Boston Bruins head to the locker room after a 4-3 additional time loss to the Florida Panthers in Recreation 5 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff collection Wednesday, April 26, 2023, in Boston.  (Alokito Mymensingh 24 Photograph/Charles Krupa)


Recreation 6 is Friday night time in Dawn, Florida, the place Boston gained twice already this collection to push the Panthers to the brink of elimination. The Presidents’ Trophy winners had not misplaced back-to-back dwelling video games all season.

“We’re purported to get swept within the collection, proper? Everybody’s saying? So I don’t suppose anyone actually gave us an opportunity after dropping two video games in a row and at dwelling and coming right here,” Tkachuk mentioned. “It simply appeared just like the collection was over earlier than that recreation even began. … It comes right down to: We do not need our season to finish.”

Patrice Bergeron scored in his return from an damage, and Ullmark stopped 21 pictures for the Bruins. Marchand and Taylor Corridor had the opposite targets for Boston, which rallied from 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 deficits to pressure additional time.

The Bruins’ loss got here one night time after the Celtics misplaced a Recreation 5 in the identical constructing, blowing an opportunity to advance to the second spherical of the NBA playoffs.

“It is all the time arduous to shut it out,” Ullmark mentioned. “A staff’s going to play for his or her lives and their season. We have to be higher for the subsequent one. Together with me. I am responsible of that as effectively.”

It was 2-1 Florida when Bergeron tied it 5 seconds right into a Boston energy play, tipping Marchand’s shot into the web. Seconds later, Tkachuk drew a hooking penalty on Jakub Lauko, and Reinhart rapidly put the Panthers again in entrance.

Florida Panthers players celebrate

Florida Panthers left wing Matthew Tkachuk (19) leaps on goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (72) whereas celebrating after scoring the game-winning purpose towards the Boston Bruins throughout additional time of Recreation 5 within the first spherical of the NHL hockey playoffs, Wednesday, April 26, 2023, in Boston. (Alokito Mymensingh 24 Photograph/Charles Krupa)

With about 10 minutes left in regulation, although, Corridor fought for a puck within the slot, turned and wristed it into the web to tie the sport 3-3. The Panthers earned a faceoff within the Boston zone with 8 seconds left. Marchand poked the puck free and chased it down, breaking free down the ice.

Bobrovsky, who didn’t play within the collection till Alex Lyon fell behind 3-0 in Recreation 3, turned Marchand apart with 1 second left on the clock.

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“I felt that the strain wanted to be on Sergei to play this recreation,” Maurice mentioned. “The leaders carry the load of your staff. He wanted to hold that weight, and he was sensible.”

Peter Johnson