Swayman stops 38 shots, Bruins roll past Panthers 5-1 for 1-0 series lead



The national anthem was played to a wild and boisterous sellout audience in Florida. The enthusiasm in the building was tangible as everyone sang along loudly and occasionally yelled.

Jeremy Swayman, the Boston goalie, had a really assured expression on his face as he glanced around at the fans during the song. It was almost as if he expected them to remain silent for the better part of the evening.

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And he carried out that exact action.

In Game 1 of the Bruins’ second-round playoff series against the Panthers on Monday night, Brandon Carlo scored a goal just after his wife gave birth to their son, while Swayman continued his incredible playoff play by stopping 38 shots.

“I was just so impressed by the way all of us didn’t take no for an answer,” said Swayman. “The physicality, the mental, and everything was so good to see and I’m really excited for what’s to come.”

Boston, which is now 5-0-0 versus the Panthers this season, also scored goals from Mason Lohrei, Jake DeBrusk, Justin Brazeau, and Morgan Geekie. The Bruins erased a 1-0 deficit and took charge with three goals in the last 7:08 of the second period, two of which came from Pavel Zacha.

Swayman, who has been in goal for Boston’s five postseason victories thus far, was outstanding once more, much like he was in the Round 1 series against Toronto that culminated in a thrilling Game 7 overtime on Saturday night. He improved the greatest stats of any goalie thus far in these playoffs by stopping all seven shots he saw during Florida’s three power plays.

Swayman has made a league-best 210 saves through seven playoff games, good for a very stingy goals-against average of 1.42.

Jim Montgomery, the coach of the Bruins, remarked, “We made a lot of mistakes.” “If not for Jeremy Swayman, that would have been a lot closer game and maybe they come out on top.”

Florida’s goal came from Matthew Tkachuk. In nine previous NHL playoff series, the team has only twice overcome a 1-0 hole to win; the last time it happened was in Round 1 against Boston last year. For the Panthers, who were playing for the first time in a week, Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 24 shots.

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Paul Maurice, coach of the Panthers, commented, “I didn’t care for our game.” “And I think we can fix a big chunk of the things we didn’t like.”

Between the two teams who finished 1-2 in the Atlantic Division (Florida first with 110 points, Boston second with 109 points), it was the first one-sided game of the five this season. Throughout the regular season, Florida was either tied or ahead in all three of Boston’s victories, with one victory coming from a two-goal margin.

This one was unique. The Bruins were absolutely airtight defensively after taking the lead. They have now successfully come back from 1-0 deficits in four of their five games against Florida this season.

“We made some mistakes and probably weren’t as hard as we needed to be tonight,” Tkachuk stated. “And they played well.”

Midway through the second period, Swayman gave up the first goal of the game to Tkachuk, the Florida star’s fourth of the postseason, after he and Bobrovsky engaged in a goalie’s battle for the first thirty-one minutes. He did not dwell on the shortfall for very long.

Boston scored the equalizer in just 67 seconds after Geekie cleared a loose puck in front of him. And 3:25 into the game, Lohrei scored his first goal of the playoffs, going over Bobrovsky’s shoulder from a difficult angle to give the lead.

That made it possible for Carlo to add to a day he will always remember.

His wife Mayson was going to give birth, so he stayed home instead of traveling to South Florida on Sunday with the Bruins. On Monday morning, she gave birth to their son Crew just in time for Carlo to board a plane and travel the three hours south. He was in the lineup when the rest of his teammates arrived at the arena, having come later than the others. With 21 seconds remaining in the second half, he scored to give his team a 3-1 lead.

Carlo declared, “I definitely wanted to play.” “and very happy I did.”

With 12:47 remaining, Brazeau completed the victory by sidestepping the Florida defense and hitting Bobrovsky with a backhander. With 5:30 remaining, the Panthers removed Bobrovsky, and two minutes later, DeBrusk added an empty-net goal.

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