When the Boston Bruins left TD Garden after Game 2, they probably weren’t feeling great. Now, as they return home for Game 5, they’re loving their position.
After winning both games in Florida, the Bruins have a 3-1 series lead and a subsequent opportunity to eliminate their Atlantic Division rivals. With a chance to move on to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, will the B’s take care of business on home ice?
The teams split the first two games in Boston, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Bruins are a fantastic team on home ice. At this point, I think they have moved on from any jitters or pressure that they were feeling early in the series.
Florida has been competitive, but the two games in Sunrise, especially Game 4, seemed to go heavily in Boston’s favor. The Panthers may have missed their opportunity to pull the upset.
Can the Bruins finish things off in Game 5?
Regardless of what has happened through the first four games, the next one is its own contest. As such, there are a few important things to consider ahead of this tilt.
Through the first four games of this series, the team that has scored first has not yet lost. Yes, we have seen many comebacks so far in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but in this series, striking first has made a big difference.
Plus, the Bruins had an otherworldly record when scoring first in the regular season, which they did often, as you might imagine.
With the momentum currently in Boston’s favor, an early goal for the Bruins should keep the ball rolling and allow them to end the series in Game 5. Conversely, scoring the first goal may be the Panthers’ only path to a Game 6 in their building.
Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron has not played yet in this series. In the most recent contests, David Krejci hasn’t played either. The B’s have proven that they are more than capable of winning in the absence of these players, but you’d still love to have them back if you’re Boston.
It appears as though the captain was back with his club for practice ahead of Wednesday’s elimination game, but no one knows for sure that he’ll play until 37 in black is on the ice in Game 5.
Getting one or both of these guys back could be the extra boost in momentum that swings this game in Boston’s favor. If they remain unavailable, the Panthers have to find a way to exploit that.
BOS – Taylor Hall (4)
FLA – Matthew Tkachuk, Brandon Montour, Sam Bennett (2)
BOS – Dmitry Orlov (5)
FLA -Matthew Tkachuk (3)
BOS – Taylor Hall (7)
FLA – Matthew Tkachuk (5)
After an additional day off between games, the Bruins and Panthers will meet for Game 5 on Wednesday, April 26 at 7:00 PM. That game can be found on ESPN.