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Recap: Bruins take Game 1 with 3-1 win over Panthers

15 wins to go!

Florida Panthers v Boston Bruins - Game One Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images

The Boston Bruins defeated the Florida Panthers, 3-1, tonight at the TD Garden to take Game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs’ first round.

“Results matter more than the process,” Head Coach Jim Montgomery said after the win.

While he felt the Bruins 5v5 game could have been better, the Bruins — like they did all regular season — found a way to beat their opponent.

The Bruins also did it without Patrice Bergeron.

Linus Ullmark made 31 saves in the win.

Here are the highlights!

First period:

The Bruins opened the scoring at 5:58 of the first period on the power play.

Out front, Tyler Bertuzzi picked up the loose puck from a rebound and slid a slick backhand pass to David Pastrnak who had a wide-open net at the backdoor for an easy shot past Alex Lyon. 1-0 Bruins.

Second period:

The Bruins took at two-goal lead at 3:41 of the second period.

Charlie McAvoy found Brad Marchand skating into the offensive zone. From the top of the left-wing circle, Marchand let a wrist shot trickle past Lyon’s glove. 2-0 Bruins.

The Panthers bounced back at 6:34 of the second period.

Matthew Tkachuk picked up the loose puck inside the right-wing circle to then lift an in-close shot over Ullmark’s blocker shoulder. 2-1 game.

The Bruins regained a two-goal lead at 17:32 of the second period.

Bertuzzi made the initial shot on Lyon. He tried to pot in his rebound. The loose puck found Jake DeBrusk, who was crashing the net with Pavel Zacha as well, to put a gritty backhander past Lyon. 3-1 Bruins.

Third period:

No goals

Final score: 3-1 Bruins

Game notes:

  • It’s a long road, but winning Game 1 and without Patrice Bergeron was a huge victory for the team.
  • “It’s a big piece missing for us, but we have really good depth on our team,” Pavel Zacha said of Bergeron out. Zacha and DeBrusk said Bergeron was there the whole game, around the team all day and talked to them in the locker room.
  • With Bergeron out, Zacha jumped in to center the first line. He said he knew this morning that was going to happen and made the most of it. “It’s a great opportunity for me to jump into that line,” Zacha said postgame.
  • The Bruins were outshot 32-29 against the Panthers and individually in the first and second period. Then the Bruins picked up their offense game in the third period, while also playing shutdown defense.
  • The Bruins did play to their advantage in the game’s opening minutes and capitalized on the power play. Pastrnak and Bertuzzi’s chemistry was on full display on the power play which led to giving the Bruins an early lead.
  • Both Zacha and Bertuzzi registered their first career playoff points. Before this, Zacha had only played in five playoff games with New Jersey. This was Bertuzzi’s first postseason game of his career.
  • Tyler Bertuzzi made his playoff debut tonight and boy did he have a game! Bertuzzi picked up two primary assists. His net-front presence was on full display as he made smart plays in the slot and followed up on rebounds. He read situations well and while he could have likely gotten off a good shot in the slot, he saw Pastrnak had a better opportunity to give the Bruins an early lead.
  • Montgomery said Bertuzzi showed poised around the net. Although it was his first career playoff game, the coaching staff knew he’d be an asset because of his hockey sense, grit and what he does with the puck out front.
  • Dmitry Orlov led the team with five shots on goal tonight, while Charlie Coyle and Marchand followed with four shots each. Orlov offensive mindset continues to impress as he jumps into plays and pinches to the slot. Coyle dominated in the offensive zone. He was strong on the puck all night, drove plays to the net and worked the boards to his advantage.
  • Montgomery told reporters postgame he went with Derek Forbort over Matt Grzelcyk because of Forbort’s defensive-zone coverage and penalty kill. He also wanted Forbort out to kill minutes in the third knowing the Panthers would press if they had to pull Lyon.
  • Game 2 is Wednesday, April 19, at the TD Garden at 7:30 p.m.

Listen to the postgame podcast here: