Game 4 of the first-round series between the Boston Bruins and Florida Panthers is in the books, and the Bruins have the Panthers on the ropes.
After a couple of shaky games in Boston, the B’s took care of business in Game 3, giving them a 2-1 series lead entering Sunday afternoon. Now, after a 6-2 win, the Bruins will have a chance to eliminate their Atlantic Division rivals when they return to Boston next week.
Sunday’s game did not start as one might expect based on the eventual winner. The Panthers carried the play for the first half of period one, launching the first ten shots on goal of the game. The Bruins eventually found their footing and took a 1-0 lead into the locker room.
I’ve noted before that there hasn’t been a playoff feel to this series. Well, the physicality was at least kicked up a notch for the opening frame of Game 4.
The Bruins defeated the Panthers in Game 4.
In the second period, the Bruins extended their lead on a power play goal from Jake DeBrusk. The B’s started the period on the power play after Matthew Tkachuk took a penalty at the end of the first. It would be Tkachuk, though, that cut the Boston lead in half, as he scored late in period two.
He, along with Brandon Montour, would end up pacing the Panthers with two points each in Game 4.
The scoring became much more regular in the third period, as Tyler Bertuzzi and Sam Bennett swapped early goals. From there, it was all Bruins, as they scored the final three goals of the contest to put it out of reach.
Taylor Hall led the way offensively for Boston with four points (two goals and two assists).
The biggest difference-maker in this game was the goaltending. Linus Ullmark was arguably the best player on the ice, as he made 41 saves to erase a large Panthers advantage in shots. Without his brilliant play, this game is undoubtedly much closer.
At the other end of the ice, Sergei Bobrovsky wasn’t bad, but he wasn’t good enough. The Panthers are clearly the inferior team, which means that they need their netminder to steal games in order to win the series. Bobrovsky has certainly not done that.
The Bruins and Panthers will get an extra day of rest before playing Game 5, which is scheduled for Wednesday in Boston at 7:00 PM. It can be seen on ESPN.