The Boston Bruins came face-to-face with very unfamiliar territory along their NHL-best campaign.
Boston set the bar when it came to responding to losses. Before Saturday night’s overtime loss against the Florida Panthers, the Bruins were spotless in such scenarios. However, that all changed during Boston’s second trip to FLA Live Arena. Granted, while the Bruins — and David Pastrnak — did nearly all they could, it would take a jaw-dropping series of heroics for the Panthers to come away with the 4-3 win.
Aleksander Barov rejuvenated the Panthers with a clutch game-tying goal, which left the Bruins just 1.4 seconds to remain in regulation, to respond. Then, when it appeared nothing could top that eye-brow-raiser, Sam Reinhart answered the call and netted the game-winner just 17 seconds into the overtime period to send the Bruins off the ice with a second straight loss.
Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery acknowledged Boston has encountered “adversity” following the loss and in order to overcome the unfamiliar hurdle, they’ll need to make some adjustments.
“We’re facing a little adversity right now,” Montgomery said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “It’s the first time all year that we haven’t prevailed in two games in a row so we’re gonna have to look at what we’re doing wrong and ways to get better.”
The Bruins’ offense came up empty, 0-for-4 in power-play opportunities against the Panthers.
“It’s the third period,” Montgomery said. “The other teams (Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning) pushed hard and I didn’t think we matched that intensity of the pushback. I think our power play’s gotten outworked the last two nights and I think that has led to very little zone time.”
Jeremy Swayman faced a season-high 37 shots on goal and made 33 saves
“Three of those goals are tipped, right?” Swayman said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “You wanna work on those and I will work on those. But again, moving forward just making sure I’m in a position to make a tipped puck save.”
Swayman added: “Not satisfied and we’ll definitely make sure we’re taking the positives out of this one and move forward.”
Here are more notes from Saturday’s Bruins-Panthers game:
— Boston notched back-to-back losses in consecutive nights for the first time through its first 49 games played this season.
“We know everyone’s gonna come gunning for us and ready to play, whether they’re on a back-to-back or whatever the case is,” Charlie Coyle said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “It is up to us to bring that focus and be prepared for it. It’s not gonna be perfect every night but we need to make sure to bring that effort and do the right things to give us the best possible chance.”
— Coyle put the Bruins ahead 2-1 in the second period with his 11th goal of the season. The center’s unassisted score was Coyle’s first since Jan. 8 against the Anaheim Ducks.
— The Bruins went 0-2 this season in games at FLA Live Arena and 2-0 against the Panthers on their home ice at TD Garden to split the season series.
— Pastrank’s third-period goal was his 38th of the season and third in the last four games. The All-Star right wing has totaled eight points through that stretch.
— The Bruins will continue their road trip and return to action on Sunday against the Carolina Hurricanes. Puck drop at PNC Arena is set for 5 p.m. ET, and you can catch the game, along with an hour of pregame coverage, live on NESN.