Four Takeaways From Bruins’ 5-2 Loss To Panthers

It was an off night for the Bruins


November 24

All good things must come to an end. That also goes for the Bruins’ win streak.

Boston fell, 5-2, to the Florida Panthers on Wednesday night at FLA Live Arena to put a halt to its seven-game win streak. Not much went right for the Bruins, but they were due for a loss at some point.

It wasn’t for lack of chances, though. The Bruins had plenty of good looks, but Spencer Knight stood on his head and was strong between the pipes for the Panthers and helped lift his team to a victory after losing their last three games.

Here are four takeaways from the loss.

The penalty kill misses Derek Forbort
The Panthers had seven power plays and cashed in on three of them. Now, some of these penalty calls were a tad soft and the referees had a bit of a rough night, but it’s clear Forbort has been missed since going down with a broken finger earlier this month. In his absence, Boston has given up nine power play goals and the Bruins now have allowed a PP goal in five straight games.

“With that responsibility, I think it gets split up with fresh guys on the ice who are in another situation as well that can go out there and make it hard on the other team,” Brandon Carlo told reporters after the game. “(Forbort’s) definitely a big (peantly) killer, and we look forward to having him back.”

It’s unclear when Forbort will return, but he did join the Bruins on their trip to Florida and was skating. His dog Darla also has been keeping him in shape during his rehab.

The Bruins are human after all
There were several questions surrounding the Black and Gold heading into the 2022-23 NHL season — between having a new head coach in Jim Montgomery and being without Brad Marchand, Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk. Boston also lost Brandon Carlo for four games due to a concussion, but the Bruins always seemed to find a way to win games and ended up making history in the process. But Wednesday’s game looked different. They weren’t as disciplined as they had been during their seven-game win streak and seemed a little slower to the pucks.

“We’ve been undisciplined this year,” Brad Marchand told reporters after the game. “And it bit us in the butt (Wednesday).”

“Not a situation that you want to be in,” Carlo told reporters. “But ultimately, as long as they’re hard penalties and not the stick penalties — tripping and things like that — then we can live with those. But we’ve got to limit (the penalties). Absolutely.”

Jeremy Swayman wasn’t his sharpest
In his second start since sustaining an injury early this month, Swayman is ready to “move forward” after allowing four goals. The goalie was strong in his return against the Chicago Blackhawks, but couldn’t replicate that Wednesday night. But, as is normally the case, Swayman wasn’t going to let a rough start dwell too much in his mind.

“Obviously, I wanted to make some saves in a timely manner, but they definitely capitalized,” Swayman told reporters after the game. “Wanna learn from that and definitely take the positives and move forward. Their tendency was to bump into the middle. So I wanted to stay on my feet, but obviously, he read it well. … I learn from it. I’m not gonna let that happen again. So make sure I take every pass true and stay square to the puck.”

After Swayman struggled to begin the season, he made a promise to turn things around and he did just that in his next start, so there’s plenty of reason to believe we’ll see a more dominant Swayman next time he’s between the pipes.

The defense struggled
Swayman’s start can’t all be pinned on him when his defense didn’t do too much to offer him support at that end of the ice. The Panthers’ one even-strength goal can highlight just how ugly the penalty kill was for the Bruins and their defense.

“Our goalies go out there and battle every night for us, and they expect the same from us,” Carlo told reporters. “It’s not that we weren’t giving him effort. But, there’s situations where you hate to see that … where pucks are going in the back of the net for situations where he’s not being helped out.”

It just wasn’t a sharp night all around for the Bruins, but they can get back in the win column Friday afternoon against the Carolina Hurricanes at TD Garden.

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