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Preview: Bruins look to clinch first round against Panthers

Chance to close it out!

Boston Bruins v Florida Panthers - Game Four Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Just the facts

When: Tonight, 7:00 PM

Where: TD Garden – Boston, MA

How to follow: NESN, ESPN, CBC, TVAS, SN, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Know your enemy

  • Matthew Tkachuk: 3G-2A-5PTS; Brandon Montour: 2G-2A-4PTS; Sam Bennett: 2G-1A-3PTS
  • Alex Lyon: 1-2-0, 3.26 GAA, .902 save percentage; Sergei Bobrovsky: 0-1-0, 5.54 GAA, .846 save percentage

Game notes

  • The Boston Bruins return home for Game 5 with a chance to clinch the opening series of the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Florida Panthers tonight!
  • The Bruins beat the Panthers, 6-2, on Sunday afternoon on two goals apiece from Taylor Hall and Jake DeBrusk to give the team a 3-1 series lead. They did it shorthanded as Patrice Bergeron remained sidelined from an undisclosed injury and without David Krejci for the second game due to an upper-body injury.
  • Patrice Bergeron was a full participant at yesterday’s practice and could possibly return tonight to make his 2023 playoff debut. He said he felt good and will see if that continues today.
  • David Krejci skated on his own yesterday. Head Coach Jim Montgomery said he could be ready if there’s a Game 6, but won’t be available for tonight’s game.
  • Montgomery shuffled up lines during yesterday’s practice to see how different combinations would work. Per the Bruins, he doesn’t know if they will actually stick, but wanted to see what worked moving guys to play on different lines.
  • Those lines had Bergeron centering Tyler Bertuzzi and David Pastrnak, Marchand and Foligno on Charlie Coyle’s wings, and Pavel Zacha centering Taylor Hall and Jake DeBrusk.
  • Taylor Hall currently leads the Bruins with seven points against the Panthers this series. He’s scored in the last three games for a total of four goals. Tyler Bertuzzi has also been keeping a net-front presence and has registered at least a point in all four games for six points with two multi-point nights.
  • The Bruins have capitalized with and utilized their special teams for an edge over the Panthers. The Bruins power play has scored on four out of 14 chances — 28.6%. The Bruins PK has only allowed one goal out of 11 man-advantages for the Panthers to be 90.9% on the kill.
  • Panthers Head Coach Paul Maurice said yesterday he knows his team is in a do-or-die situation. He expects his team to make a push early and try to sustain that level of play for 60 minutes.
  • Tkachuk, Montour and Bennett created chances and capitalized on chances yet again for the Panthers in Game 4 like they did in the previous games. In Games 1 and 2 at the TD Garden, those three combined for four out of the Panthers seven goals and six points.
  • The Panthers will get some guys back for Game 5 as both Anthony Duclair and Aaron Ekblad have been cleared for the game after missing Sunday’s tilt with undisclosed injuries.