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HomeSportsHockeyNHL News: Bruins edge Panthers, head home for Game 6

NHL News: Bruins edge Panthers, head home for Game 6

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Charlie McAvoy had a goal and an assist to help the Boston Bruins stave off elimination with a 2-1 win against the Florida Panthers in Game 5 of an Eastern Conference semifinal series on Tuesday night in Sunrise, Fla.

The Panthers still lead the best-of-seven series 3-2 heading into Game 6 on Friday night in Boston.

Morgan Geekie also scored and Jeremy Swayman made 28 saves for the Bruins, who have never overturned a 3-1 series deficit in a best-of-seven set in 25 previous attempts.

“We made really good decisions with the puck tonight in the first period, which led to quality scoring chances,” Boston coach Jim Montgomery said. “Tonight was our best game of the series.”

Sam Reinhart scored and Sergei Bobrovsky made 26 saves for the Panthers, who had won three in a row to take command of the series.

Geekie gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead at 4:49 of the first period with his fourth goal of the playoffs.

Jake DeBrusk retrieved the puck behind the Florida net and passed it to Geekie driving toward the crease. Bobrovsky came off the goal line to attempt a save, but Geekie pulled the puck to his backhand and slid it into the net.

“They started well,” Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov said of the Bruins. “They came out of the gate really hard and got going right away. … We still had a lot of time to play better.”

The Panthers were getting outshot 17-8 when Florida coach Paul Maurice gave his team a spirited pep talk during a timeout early in the second period.

“I thought they needed some profanity in their life, and I brought some,” Maurice said of his comments during the timeout.

Barkov won the ensuing faceoff, and the Panthers kept the puck in the Boston zone before Aaron Ekblad took a shot from the right point that hit Reinhart in the slot.

Swayman tried to poke the puck through the middle, but it went back to Reinhart, who banked his shot off the post and into the net to tie it 1-1 at 6:23.

McAvoy moved Boston back ahead, 2-1, at 10:25 of the second.

Trent Frederic entered the Florida zone off a rush and passed the puck back to Charlie Coyle, who dropped it for McAvoy. The Boston defenseman had room to skate between the hashmarks and score with a wrist shot.

Boston forward Danton Heinen made contact with Bobrovsky just before McAvoy’s goal, prompting the Panthers to challenge for goaltender interference, but the goal was upheld after a video review.

Bobrovsky kept it a one-goal deficit when he turned away DeBrusk on a breakaway with 5:35 left in the second period. He also stopped Pavel Zacha on a short-handed breakaway at 2:13 of the third.

Boston played its second straight game without team captain Brad Marchand, who was injured late in Game 3 on a hit to the head by the Panthers’ Sam Bennett. Marchand (three goals, seven assists) is tied with DeBrusk (five goals, five assists) for the Bruins’ lead in points during the postseason.

Montgomery said postgame that Marchand is day-to-day.

Maurice added, “There will be 60 cameras at morning skate to see if Brad Marchand takes a sip of water.”

–Field Level Media

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