The 2022-2023 Boston Bruins have entered the chat.
After a slow start to the postseason, the team that dominated the NHL during the regular season has finally arrived.
The Bruins were once again down their top two centers, with Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci missing in action. It made no difference.
Taylor Hall and Jake DeBrusk each scored two goals and Brad Marchand and Tyler Bertuzzi had a goal apiece. Linus Ullmark, starting in his 4th straight playoff game turned away 41 of 43 shots for the win.
Hall now has four goals and seven points in the last three games. DeBrusk has four points in the last two games and five points in the series.
Things started slow for the Bruins in the first period as they had to beat back a Panthers onslaught. Shots were 10-0 through the first 8 or 9 minutes. Boston however struck first on the power play. Brad Marchand collected a loose puck that was just sitting between the legs of Sergei Bobrovsky.
The Bruins doubled their lead early in the second. Boston started the period on the man advantage after Mathew Tkachuk crosschecked Garnet Hathaway after first period play ended. Late in the man advantage Hall gained entry and found Dimitry Orlov who fired a pass to DeBrusk out front for the redirect past Bobrovsky and a 2-0 Bruins lead.
Jake DeBrusk (@JDebrusk) on DeDoorstep. ?
— NHL (@NHL) April 23, 2023
A Tkachuk goal made it 2-1 after 2 but the Bruins grabbed the the two goal cushion right back 2:26 into the third on a beautiful redirect from Tyler Bertuzzi off a shot from Brandon Carlo.
Sam Bennett scored on the power play for Florida to cut the lead to 3-2 6:11 into the period. But the Bruins again regained their two goal cushion less than 2 minutes later when Jake DeBrusk banged home his second of the game on a rebound of a Pavel Zacha shot.
Hall gave the Bruins some extra insurance on a breakaway with 4 minutes to go making it 5-2. Hall added an empty netter for good measure for the 6-2 final.
The two teams now have 2 days off before game 5 Wednesday at TD Garden. Patrice Bergeron is expected to return to the lineup though Krejci is still considered questionable to play.
Enough is Enough
Things got chippy late resulting in a line brawl between both teams. It began when Tkachuk shoved Linjus Ullmark in the crease. While everyone else on the ice tussled Tkatchuk went back at Ullmark resulting in the Bruins goaltender dropping his gloves and going after the Panthers power forward. The two were separated before anything could get started but the Bruins think Ullmark would have handled himself just fine.
“Linus is an animal,” Brandon Carlo said. “Deep down in him, he can beat up anybody.”
“I love it. He’s all-in,” said coach Jim Montgomery.
“He’s got the size and reach, you know,” Brad Marchand added. “But maybe a little less experienced than Tkachukk. Maybe one day we’ll get to see.”