3 things that must go right for the Bruins in Round Two vs. Panthers

In a rematch from the first round of the playoffs in 2023, Boston will be taking on a Florida team that has been resting for a little while.
Florida Panthers v Boston Bruins
Florida Panthers v Boston Bruins / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages

One year, and five days ago to the day, the Boston Bruins were facing off with the Florida Panthers in a do-or-die Game 7 of the First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. That contest would go to extra time, and the Bruins saw their season come to an unfortunate end after Carter Verhaeghe beat goaltender Jeremy Swayman with a wrist shot glove side.

Just two days ago, Boston was faced with the same predicament, overtime in Game 7, and the potential to face the music if they were to be bounced in the first round for the third consecutive year, this time by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Instead, after being called out after the previous game by head coach Jim Montgomery, David Pastrnak took matters into his own hands and took a dump-in pass from Hampus Lindholm and slipped it past Maple Leafs goalie Ilya Samsonov on a backhand - sending TD Garden into a frenzy - and giving the hosts a 2-1 overtime victory 1:54 in.

Here are three things that must go right in this next series.

The goaltender situation

Going into the next round, chances are Montgomery is going to ride the hot hand in Swayman, but the key is making sure that he does not overplay him and cause the Panthers to find too many weak spots too early in the series.

With Swayman, the Bruins have proven they are a force to be reckoned with especially when it counts as Swayman came one goal away from tying Tim Thomas for least goals allowed in a series.

No save was more clutch than when Swayman stopped a flurry of Toronto shots to send the game to overtime, just as the third period was coming to an end.

Next. Swayman sends Game 7 to overtime. Swayman sends Game 7 to overtime. dark

The scoring output

It's no secret watching the last two games of the series, that Boston became very disciplined when it counted only serving six minutes in the box combined between the two games and 16 total in the last three, giving them an average of just over five per game.

The problem going into this series with the Panthers is, much like the series with the Maple Leafs, they will need to contain their offense and either slow it down/stop it or match it. Slowing it down, may not be an issue as the Bruins were able to do so somewhat easily, but outscoring their opponents may be where they run into trouble.

After Boston scored 14 goals in the first four games of the series, they were only able to muster one goal in each of the next two games before scoring two in Game 7. To put it bluntly, that's not going to cut it against a Florida team who averaged over three per game, including one game where it was able to score six. Maybe them not playing in over a week will play to Boston's advantage, but it all remains to be seen.

The Bruins' effort level

Going into Game 7, even though it was at home, a lot of fans were nervous that the Bruins' energy levels just weren't there and they didn't care how the series turned out. Instead, it was the complete opposite.

The home squad came to the rink with their bags packed and ready for one thing, and one thing only: a trip to Sunrise, Florida, following the game. They were reared up and ready to go and put it all out on the ice - win or lose. They gave it their all and wound up winning.

With Toronto, the effort level was clearly lacking in some games, especially towards the end, but now that they are facing the team that elmiinated them last year, the Bruins cannot afford to have a game where they lose focus.

When/where is Game 1 and how can I watch it?

Game 1 is tonight in Sunrise, Florida at Amerant Bank Arena - puck drop is at 8:00 p.m. on ESPN.