BOSTON — The Panthers had one goal in mind after losing 3-1 on Monday in the opening game of their best-of-seven series against the Bruins — even things out before heading to Florida for Game 3.
The Panthers were able to do just that, erasing the one-game deficit by defeating Boston, 6-3, in Game 2 on Wednesday night.
“I mean, in a perfect world, it would have been great to steal two,” Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk said postgame. “But after game one, this was all that was on our mind. And then we put ourselves in a position where we have home ice now and hanging on to it as long as possible.”
The Panthers knew after Game 1 they needed to get the win in Game 2, and that was the mindset in the room.
“Somehow, some way, get it (the win),” Tkachuk said. “We did. We’re going back to Florida even, so we’ll take the split and run.”
The Bruins and Panthers were knotted at two heading into the final period, but things quickly turned in Florida’s favor when they scored just 22 seconds in to break the tie.
“Big four-on-four goal by (Brandon Montour) to start off, where it’s kind of a blessing in disguise,” Tkachuk explained. “We weren’t too happy with the four-on-four, how it ended up on the four-on-four, but it ended up working out well for us.”
Tkachuk said he has always believed in this team and that they could beat the Bruins.
“We knew it was going to be such a tough task but to sit there and just give away this series at the beginning of it. That’s not how we roll,” he said. “That’s not how our mindset had been all year. … So we’re confident playing as anybody, and now we know before the third we’re talking about you got to win in here eventually if you want to win the series. So to come up with that effort that there was really important for our team.”
The Panthers will look to build on their momentum when the series shifts to Florida on Friday night for Game 3.