4 massive Boston Bruins concerns following Florida Panthers Game 2 beatdown

There are a lot of concerns for the Boston Bruins heading home for Games 3 and 4 for a Game 2 beatdown by the Florida Panthers.
Boston Bruins v Florida Panthers - Game Two
Boston Bruins v Florida Panthers - Game Two / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages

Going into their second-round series against the Florida Panthers, there were questions about whether or not the Boston Bruins were going to be able to go down to South Florida and gain a split in the first two games. Boston answered that with a resounding yes after an impressive 5-1 Game 1 win Monday night.

Game 2 Wednesday night, well that was a different story for Jim Montgomery’s team as Florida did what you would expect them to do, bounce back and had a commanding 6-1 victory to even the series at 1-1 heading back to Boston for Games 3 and 4 Friday and Sunday night’s. It wasn’t surprising to see the Panthers win, but it was in the way it happened.

As the two teams fly back to Boston for the next two games, here are four major causes for concern going into Games 3 and 4 for the Bruins after a Game 2 beatdown.

Bruins’ shoddy play in the defensive zone hurts them

One concern that has really gotten lost in all the success that Jeremy Swayman has had in goal has been the turnovers and lack of defensive zone coverage from the Bruins. In Game 2, the Panthers tied the game 1-1 in the second period when Steven Lorentz was all alone in front of the Boston net and was able to tip a Brandon Montour shot past Swayman. Then the icing on the cake was with 0.3 seconds remaining in the period when a puck was carelessly shot around the boards and Panthers defenseman Gustav Forsling ripped a slap shot past Swayman for a back-breaking 3-1 lead after 40 minutes.

Nothing that happened Wednesday night was Swayman’s fault, but if the Bruins don’t tighten things up in the defensive end, it could be a quick series despite coming back home.

Florida’s power play finally scores

If there was one area where the Bruins were frustrating the Panthers, it was with their penalty kill. Boston had not allowed a man-advantage goal to Florida, but in the third period, they finally broke through on an Aleksander Barkov goal against Linus Ullmark.

One area where the Bruins can have a lot of success is on the penalty kill and frustrating the Panthers there, but if the Barkov goal gives the Atlantic Division champions some confidence with the man advantage, Boston could be in trouble.

Bruins stars remain missing

Like in Game 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Bruins are going to need their stars to step up moving forward and get more production from them. David Pastrnak scored the game-winning goal against the Leafs in Game 7, but Florida has made it a point to hit the Boston superstar whenever they can and he finished Game 2 with no shots landed on the net. They need more from him.

Charlie McAvoy has not looked good on defense recently and it makes you wonder if he’s playing through an injury like a lot of players do this time of year. If not, then his performances have been rather concerning. He’s turning pucks over, his passes have been off and he just hasn’t looked good all around. Boston needs more from both players as they can't keep relying on their bottom-six.

Bruins take another too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty

If a team gets called for one too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty in a series, then OK, but to be called five times in nine games is totally unacceptable. It really is. That’s just gifting the opponent a power play and scoring chance. This needs to be cleaned up going forward, to say the least.

It’s going to be interesting to see Boston’s response in Game 3 and how things play out coming home. As we know, playing at the TD Garden the last couple of postseasons has not been too kind to Montgomery and his team.