BOSTON — The Boston Bruins rallied from a two-goal deficit to defeat the Florida Panthers in overtime at TD Garden on Monday night.

Before the game Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery said the matchup against the Panthers held a little bit more meaning.

“It’s not one of 82. No. They ended our season,” Montgomery told reporters before the game, per team-provided video. “They went all the way to the Finals. Our summers were miserable until the Finals were over. And that’s because they beat us. So yeah, this means more.”

The Bruins got the win, and they did so skating just five defensemen after Matt Grzelyck departed the game with an upper-body injury after logging just 3:29 minutes of ice time in the first.

Story continues below advertisement

No Matchup Found

Click here to enter a different Sportradar ID.

Boston scratched their way back into the game with goals from Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy, but the Bruins would face their biggest challenge of the young season when McAvoy was assessed a match penalty at 9:28 of the third period for a hit to an illegal check to the head against Florida defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

The Bruins’ NHL-best penalty-killing system was on full display not allowing the Panthers to get set up in the zone and goaltender Linus Ullmark stopping all seven shots he faced over the five-minute span.

“It was a big character win,” Montgomery said after the win. “We lose (Grzelyck) halfway through the first. We’re down to five (defensemen). We got the five-minute major you got to kill off and now you’re down to four (defensemen).”

Story continues below advertisement

Montgomery added: “Tremendous character by our four defensemen that gutted it out and just our team, coming back from two nothing against a real good team. Being able to come away and finding a way to win.”

With 3:36 remaining in overtime, Pavel Zacha secured the win for the Bruins completing the comeback with three unanswered goals.

“I think it was a hard game to come back after (the first) period we had,” Zacha said. “I think we have to a little bit better starts against teams like this. We just showed that we can come back in games too.”

Here are more notes from Monday’s Bruins-Panthers game:

Story continues below advertisement

— The Bruins’ special teams were a factor in the win killing off all three Panthers’ power plays including the five-minute major in the third period. Boston has allowed one goal on 37 attempts in the first nine games of the season.

“The guys did a tremendous job in the five-minute penalty kill. All the credit goes to those boys,” Ullmark told reporters after the game. “… We never gave them momentum. We always got the puck out in 15 to 20 seconds. … We kept them away from establishing something. I gotta give all the credit to the PK guys they did a tremendous job throughout the game, not just that five-minute (penalty).”

— The Bruins didn’t disclose the injury Grzelyck suffered but Montgomery said after the game he anticipates the defenseman missing a couple of weeks.

— Matthew Poitras played in his ninth NHL game, recording two shots and two takeaways in 18:42 minutes of ice time. Montgomery said the Bruins brass has told him he has been too “effusive” with his compliments regarding Poitras’s game and the organization has still not made a decision on whether or not to send him down to his junior club or keep him in the NHL.

Story continues below advertisement

— The Bruins host the Toronto Maple Leafs in an Original Six matchup on Thursday night. Puck drop from TD Garden is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET and will air on ESPN+. The Bruins will return to NESN on Nov. 6 when they face off against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.

Featured image via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images