The Boston Bruins – the best regular season team in the history of the National Hockey League – are on the brink of elimination after a stunning 7-5 Game 6 loss to the Florida Panthers.
The game went back and forth all night with the Bruins constantly playing catchup until Jake DeBrusk gave the Boston a 5-4 lead with 9:38 remaining in regulation. But the Panthers scored three unanswered goals to win 7-5 and force a game at TD Garden on Sunday.
As has been the case for much of the series, the Bruins struggled to get the puck out of their zone. Matthew Tkachuk scored the equalizer with the Bruins hemmed in their own zone. Eetu Luostarinen got the go ahead goal 3:33 later after Connor Clifton failed to clear the puck out cleanly.
Clifton and Derek Forbort struggled defensively all night. With the pair on the ice in 5-on-5 situations the Bruins were outshot 21-11, 42-21 in attempts, 21-14 in chances, (8-4 high-danger). Each was on the ice for three goals-against.
“I think we’re going to be consistent. We’re going to analyze everybody that played,” Montgomery told reporters postgame.”
The Bruins got 2 goals apiece from David Pastrnak. Tyler Bertuzzi had a goal and two assists. Brad Marchand had 4 assists. The Bruins also had a goal by defenseman Brandon Carlo disallowed that would have made it 3-2 after replay showed an apparent hand pass by Jake DeBrusk.
Linus Ullmark had one of his toughest games of the series allowing six goals for the first time all season. According to moneypuck.com Ullmark was -2.28 goals saved above expected.
“Unfortunately, I couldn’t make that extra save today,” Ullmark said. “You just make one more save, that’s it. Sometimes, that’s the part of the game that unfortunately doesn’t really happen sometimes. Today was one of those days.”
Game 7 will be on Sunday in Boston.