The Bruins knew they didn’t play well in their 6-3 loss in Game 2 to the Florida Panthers on Wednesday night. They knew they needed to play better when the best-of-seven series shifted to Sunrise, Fla. for Game 3 Friday night.
And they did just that. Boston defeated Florida, 4-2, in the pivotal game to regain control of the series.
“We knew what went wrong in Game 2,” Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark told reporters, seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “We came together, and we had a few chats about it, and we really knew that this is all about us. It’s all about the Bruins hockey we played throughout the year, and we know that we can be better, and we showed that today.”
In Game 2, Ullmark stopped 24 of 29 shots faced, earning his first loss of the season after stopping 31 of 31 shots in the Game 1 win on Monday. Ullmark, along with his teammates, bounced back in Game 3.
“t doesn’t end with this one,” Ullmark said. “You got to keep it going. You have to win four in every series, and now we’re halfway there in the first one and planning on getting the third one now on Sunday.”
What was not lost on Ullmark was his teammates’ play in front of him, especially Charlie Coyle, who drew first line duty with Patrice Bergeron remaining in Boston and David Krejci being a late scratch with an upper-body injury.
“Oh, it’s great. You know (Coyle) is an animal through and through,” Ullmark said. “Especially around playoff time. He has a lot of composure, routine, all that sorts of things. … He knows what needs to be done every single night in these kinds of games, and it’s a blessing for us to have him.”
Boston knew they would be without their captain for the two games in Florida, but knew the importance of playing to the standards he has set from the beginning of training camp.
“He just kind of set that path, and you just follow suit,” Coyle said of his captain to reporters, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “And there were a lot of guys who had monster games tonight. And that’s just huge.”
Taylor Hall obviously got the message as well. He started the scoring just 2:26 into the first period.
“This was a pivotal game for us. We know how good they play at home and how tough of a time they gave us in the first two games,” Hall told reporters on NESN’s postgame coverage. “So to get off to a good start, whether you score or not, I thought what set the tone was Charlie McAvoy, laying a big hit in the first shift, and that was, you know, kind of a telltale sign of the night and how hard we’re gonna play.”
The Bruins will look to take a stranglehold on the series by going up 3-1 in Game 4 on Sunday afternoon. Puck drop from FLA Live Arena is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET. NESN.com will bring you all the in-depth analysis and game action throughout the playoffs. You can watch all of the first-round games on NESN.