BOSTON — It couldn’t have happened any other way, right?

The Bruins waited a full season to exercise the demons of blowing their 3-1 series lead against the Florida Panthers in 2023, but finally did so off the stick of David Pastrnak in overtime at TD Garden on Saturday night.

Jim Montgomery called for Pastrnak to rise to the occasion after quiet nights in Game 5 and Game 6. The Bruins forward did just that and then some.

Just 1:54 into the extra period, Pastrnak got space to work and beat Toronto goaltender Ilya Samsonov on a perfectly timed backhanded shot to send the Bruins forward into the playoffs for the first time in three seasons.

Story continues below advertisement

Watch the game-winning goal here.

It followed almost the same exact script, too.

The Bruins took a 3-1 series lead in both 2023 and 2024. They lost Game 5 in overtime and Game 6 on the road and allowed Game 7 to reach an extra frame. It was setting up to be another devastating finish, but Pastrnak didn’t allow the TD Garden faithful to go home feeling the same way it did last April.

Story continues below advertisement

Boston will now move on to play… you guessed it, Florida.

The B’s and Panthers will open their second-round series Monday at Amerant Bank Arena. If flipping the script from last season wasn’t enough, Boston now gets a chance to exact revenge.

Featured image via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images