Panthers 2 – Bruins 1 | Just one misstep from Jeremy Swayman, Boston on vacation

The job of guard can be cruel. You can save your team’s many mistakes, allow them to fight again in a sixth game because of your heroic saves since the start of the series, but one mistake, just one, can change everything.



Updated yesterday at 11:25 p.m.

It’s hard to blame Jeremy Swayman for the elimination of the Boston Bruins on Friday night. But that goal given to defenseman Gustav Forsling with 1:33 left in the third period, to break a 1-1 tie, should never have beaten him.

Imperious throughout the entire game, during almost every playoff game so far, Swayman said he didn’t see Forsling take his shot. He blamed himself more on the return, awarded on a routine shot in the preceding seconds.

Swayman was inconsolable after the meeting. Nobody, obviously, could blame him in his locker room. Nor among the spectators at TD Garden in Boston, who chanted his name after the defeat, for the valuable services rendered.

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PHOTO BOB DECHIARA, USA TODAY SPORTS VIA REUTERS CON

Anton Lundell (15) celebrates with Matthew Tkachuk (19) after scoring a goal in the second period.

His opposite number, Sergei Bobrovsky, was much more disheveled. But he made the timely saves. He was also saved by Aleksander Barkov late in the third. The Panthers captain blocked a one-timer from David Pastrnak with one hand. He missed a few appearances afterward to chase away the pain. His unexpected intervention undoubtedly avoided the presentation of a seventh match. The puck seemed to be heading into the back of the Panthers net. Barkov didn’t inherit the reputation of an exceptionally complete player for nothing.

Lack of attack

Swayman would not have been put in this cruel situation with better offensive contribution from his team. The Bruins were limited to two goals or less for a fifth straight game, for the eighth time in nine games, for the ninth time in thirteen playoff games this spring. “You can’t always win 2-1,” said Jim Montgomery aptly after the match.

The Bruins’ playing system showed its limits in the playoffs. His lack of offensive talent too.

After Jake DeBrusk, who played despite a broken hand, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, no one had more than 6 points in 13 games. Only five forwards have scored more than one goal in the playoffs. The Panthers had 10.

Boston finished in 12the ranked out of 16 clubs in the playoffs for goals scored per game, with an average of 2.38, despite an efficiency rate of 21.2% on the power play. The team ranked third in goals allowed. Defenses don’t always win championships…

The Panthers reach the final four for the second consecutive season. They will face the New York Rangers, defeaters of the Carolina Hurricanes. They will try to reach the Stanley Cup final for the second spring in a row.

Unlike last year, they are no longer a Cinderella team, but one of the most powerful clubs in the NHL. The Bruins paid the price.

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