3 no-brainer Boston Bruins lineup changes to make for Game 3 against the Panthers

Some lineup changes are needed for Game 3 and adding a defenseman and forward to change things up makes sense.
Boston Bruins v Florida Panthers
Boston Bruins v Florida Panthers / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

After playing every other day for over a week, the Boston Bruins looked like a tired and frustrated team Wednesday night in their 6-1 Game 2 loss to the Florida Panthers in South Florida. The Panthers were able to get four pucks past Jeremy Swayman, although none of them were his fault. Bad decisions and defensive zone turnovers cost the Bruins and Florida was more than ready to take full advantage after a Game 1 loss.

As the series shifts back to Boston for Games 3 and 4, it is going to be interesting to see how second-year head coach Jim Montgomery handles his Game 3 lineup after a fiery third period that saw 136 minutes in penalties handed out by the officials. Here are three players that must be in the Game 3 lineup and really, these should be considered no-brainers.

Kevin Shattenkirk

It was good to see Derek Forbort return to the lineup for Games 1 and 2 in Florida, but after not playing in over two months, his body took a physical beating. Not to mention his lack of detail in the second period that left Steven Lorentz along in front to tip a shot past Jeremy Swayman to tie the game 1-1. It’s time to reinsert Kevin Shattenkirk back into the lineup on defense and pair him with Parker Wortherspon. 

Let’s be honest, Shattenkirk is not going to overpower anyone or light up a scoresheet, but he is a savvy veteran who played well in the first round seven-game series win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Putting him back in the lineup also gives Montgomery another option for either power play unit as both have struggled big time lately. Charlie McAvoy is not the answer there and Mason Lohrei can’t play the full two minutes. This should be an easy decision.

Jeremy Swayman

Montgomery made the right decision, pulling Swayman early in the third period after the Panthers' fourth goal. He was under fire all night and nothing that went into the net was his fault. Linus Ullmark stepped in and gave up two goals and looked every bit rusty after not playing in over two weeks. 

In fact, I would have pulled Swayman after the second period just to see if it would have given the Black and Gold a lift as it already felt like Florida had the game in hand. You have rode Swayman to this point in the playoffs and it’s time to ride him until the end comes.

Jakub Lauko

One odd lineup decision that Montgomery had for Game 1 was putting Patrick Brown on the fourth line with Jesper Boqvist unable to play. That decision turned out to be a disaster as Brown took a penalty and you had to look hard to even find him when he was on the ice. Boqvist returned for Game 2, but you get the feeling that it’s time for Jakub Lauko to make an appearance in the series.

I’ll never understand why Montgomery is so reluctant to play John Beecher up the middle on every shift, but Biqvist is certainly not the answer on the fourth line. Lauko brings energy, he’s relentless on the forecheck and plays a hard 200-foot game. You can’t say that about Boqvist. It’s time to move Beecher to the middle and Lauko on the wing and see that youngster brings to the table in Game 3, a huge momentum game in the series.

Montgomery has proved that he’s not afraid to make lineup changes in the playoffs and the timing wasn’t good against the Maple Leafs, but the time is good for Game 3 against the Panthers.