All tied up. That’s where things stand after two games between the Boston Bruins and Florida Panthers. The Bruins took game one, while the Panthers bounced back on Wednesday to win game two, leaving the series at a 1-1 stalemate as we head south for two games in Florida.
Following game two, Jim Montgomery was not pleased with how the team played, and hinted at some lineup changes ahead of game three. One guy that has a pretty strong chance of drawing in is defenseman Matt Grzelcyk. He’s been criticized in the past for how he’s played in the postseason, but he could provide a needed jolt for this team as the series heads to Florida.
As for who comes out, it’s anybody’s guess. It could be Derek Forbort, as Grzelcyk is a left shot D. Or, Montgomery could opt to sit Connor Clifton, which would push either Grzelcyk or Dmitry Orlov to their off-side.
The ever important lineup question surrounds captain Patrice Bergeron. As of Wednesday night, it has not been revealed whether or not Bergeron is traveling to Florida with the team. If he has to stay back, he’ll be out for the next two games as well, a brutal blow to the team.
If he does in fact stay out, it’s not unreasonable to assume the forward lines would stay the same. If Montgomery still wants to make changes, Jakub Lauko and AJ Greer feel the most likely to draw in. Also, for what it’s worth, Oskar Steen was recalled from Providence on an emergency basis.
Of course, if Bergeron travels and he suits up for game three, everything I just said is moot. My first guess would be either Trent Frederic or Nick Foligno would take a seat if and when Bergeron returns to the lineup this series. The addition of Bergeron is a clear boost to the Bruins all around game and certainly increases their odds at a series win.
The goalie matchup projects to be the same, with Linus Ullmark opposing Alex Lyon. The Panthers responded in a big way at TD Garden in game two. With all the advantages that come with home ice now out the window for two games, the Bruins will need an equally strong response to take control back in this series.
Game three is set to begin at 7:30 eastern time on TNT on Friday night. Buckle up everyone, this will be quite entertaining.