Five Takeaways From Bruins’ Game 5 Overtime Loss To Panthers

The Bruins chased all night, and it eventually bit them

We were this close to an all-time Bruins moment at TD Garden on Wednesday night against the Panthers. Instead, the home crowd went home facing the reality that this is a series once again.

The Bruins were playing catch-up hockey all night, and while they did get the game to overtime, it was Florida playing spoiler in the 4-3 overtime win in Game 5 of their Stanley Cup playoff first-round series.

Here are five takeaways from Wednesday night’s game.

Self-inflicted wounds
The Bruins by just about every metric, except the score, dominated the hockey game. Boston attempted an insane 91 shots (compared to Florida’s 47) with 47 of those getting to the net. The B’s had 38 scoring chances with 15 high-danger chances at five-on-five with an expected-goal total of 3.1 to just 1.8 for Florida. According to’s “deserve to win meter,” if you simulate that game 1,000 times, the Bruins win 71.3% of the time.

Of course, that doesn’t mean a whole lot for two reasons. The first, and slightly smaller one, is that Sergei Bobrovsky earned his millions with his best performance in a long time. His save on Brad Marchand at the buzzer literally saved Florida’s season. The bigger issue, obviously, is the Bruins gave the game away. It’s not groundbreaking stuff, but Boston handed Florida its goals. The game-winner obviously was a disaster, but the Panthers’ opening tally was a direct result of a brutal Tyler Bertuzzi turnover, and the Panthers’ third goal came after Jakub Lauko took a penalty on the opening faceoff following the Bruins’ second goal. Cut down on those fatal errors, and it’s an easy win. That should provide some optimism moving forward, but it’s also a reminder of how easily this thing can up in smoke.

No worries about Ullmark
Ignore the noise when it comes to any conversation about goaltending after Game 5. Would Linus Ullmark like that end-of-game situation back? Of course. But he channeled his inner-Ted Lasso after the game, and he should be ready to go if and when he’s tabbed the starter for Game 6. While Wednesday wasn’t his best performance, the Panthers were afforded seven high-danger chances, in large part because of the Bruins’ aforementioned puck-management woes. Even accounting for Game 5, only New York’s Igor Shesterkin has been more efficient among starters in the playoffs. Ullmark hasn’t really been a problem so far.

Garden blues
What gives with the Bruins struggling to find their game at home? Jim Montgomery couldn’t come up with much of an answer after the game, but the B’s have been strangely disjointed, sloppy and occasionally careless on their own ice. After losing just seven games all season at TD Garden, the Bruins lost two of three in this series, making for a potentially ominous backdrop to a Game 7 if they can’t close it out in Florida. The flip side to that, of course, is the Bruins were downright dominant in Sunrise in Games 3 and 4. Sports are weird sometimes.

Paging Pastrnak
Not sure if this falls under good news or bad news, but the Bruins have yet to get much from David Pastrnak. After scoring 61 goals in the regular season, the sniper has just two goals in the series and hasn’t found the back of the net since Game 3. Wednesday night offered a particular head-scratching decision by Pastrnak, who appeared to have a clear lane to the net on a breakaway in the third period but passed instead of taking it to the net and shooting. He did put four shots on goal in Game 5, but he also had three shots blocked and four missed the net. He’s probably gripping the stick a little too hard. Montgomery didn’t sound worried, saying he thinks Pastrnak will break through soon. It would surely help.

Patrice Bergeron didn’t miss a step
Not only did Bergeron score a goal in his 2023 playoff debut, he unsurprisingly was one of the best players on the ice. The Bruins captain logged 19:03 of ice time on 30 shifts while putting six shots on net and winning 20 of his 29 faceoffs. His linemates shuffled throughout the game, but the two main lines he pivoted out-chanced the Panthers 11-1 at five-on-five.