BOSTON, MA — For the second night in a row the TD Garden played host to a Boston team looking to close out an Playoff opponent. And for the second straight night Boston failed to close. On this night it was the Bruins falling short in a Game 5 closeout, falling to the Florida Panthers 4-3 in overtime.
The Bruins dominated the majority of the game, controlling the action for the final 40 minutes. But a lot of self inflicted mistakes proved to be the Bruins downfall. Two giveaways led to goals including the game winner in OT on a misplay by goaltender Linus Ullmark.
Ullmark tried to play a puck behind the net with Matt Grzelcyk right next to him. The puck went right to Carter Verhaege who threw the puck towards the net. Mathew Tkachuk jumped on the loose puck and rofed a backhander past a diving Ullmark for the game winner.
“I thought it was the best play, and it ended up being the worst play,” said Ullmark. “But it doesn’t matter now. We can all think about what I should have done or could have done. But maybe if I did that, it could have been the same result. Who knows? This is the life of hockey. This is the game sometimes. You can’t take anything for granted.”
The Bruins got power play goals from Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron in his first game back from injury. Taylor Hall also scored for Boston.
The Bruins must now head back to Florida for Game 6 on Friday night.
The game marked the return of captain Patrice Bergeron who had missed the first four games of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Bergeron led the Bruins out of the tunnel prior to Game 5 to a huge ovation from the TD Garden crowd. The Bruins captain started the game between David Pastrnak and Tyler Bertuzzi but also played several shifts with Brad Marchand reuniting the perfection line of 63-37-88.
— John Zannis (@John_Zannis) April 26, 2023
The Bruins came out buzzing early but it was Florida who got on the board first. Tyler Bertuzzi carelessly flipped the puck in front of the Bruins goal and right to the stick of Carter Verhaege. Linus Ullmark stopped the initial shot but Anthony Duclair batted the rebound into the net to make it 1-0,
Boston tied it in the second as Brad Marchand continued his dominant postseason. Marchand followed his own shot to tap home a rebound though the legs of Sergei Bobrovsky for the power play goal to knot the game at one.
The Bruins massively tilted the ice in the second period controlling play and limiting Florida’s chances but they couldn’t break through Bobrovsky again. Despite dominating the period start to finish the Bruins allowed a late goal to Sam Bennett with 1:08 to play in the period to give Florida the 2-1 edge.
The Bruins tied it up in the second on the power play when Marchand fired a shot pass towards net that was deftly tipped in by Patrice Bergeron for the equalizer.
The Bruins gave it right back. Jakub Lauko was whistled for hooking on the ensuing faceoff and the Panthers cashed in. Sam Reinhart fired one past Ullmark glove side from the slot giving the Panthers a 3-2 lead.
Boston answered. Taylor Hall continued his incredible postseason run, ripping home his 5th of the postseason, an absolute snipe top shelf through traffic past Bobrovsky to tie the game at 3 and send it to overtime.
But 6 minutes into the extra frame, another Bruins turnover, this one by Linus Ullmark who mishandled the puck behind the net led to a Matthew Tkachuk game winner. Bruins lose 4-3. Game 6 Friday in Florida at 7:30pm.