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Bruins Resurrect Season with Stellar Finish in Game 5 Victory Over Panthers

In a thrilling conclusion to Game 5, the Boston Bruins managed to keep their playoff hopes alive with a dramatic finish, securing a 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers in a tense encounter in Florida.

Facing elimination with a 3-1 series deficit, the Bruins clung to a slender 2-1 advantage late in the third period. The Panthers, however, dominated the final minutes, employing an extra attacker to intensify their offensive pressure.

Charlie McAvoy’s attempt to clear the puck resulted in an icing call, leading to a faceoff in Boston’s zone. This allowed Florida to pull their goalie, Sergei Bobrovsky, for an extra skater, setting up a frantic last three minutes.

Despite relentless pressure, Boston’s defense held firm. Key blocks and stellar saves from Jeremy Swayman ensured the Bruins maintained their lead. The Panthers’ 6-on-5 assault was thwarted by a series of critical blocks, including a pivotal stop by McAvoy himself.

Florida’s Carter Verhaeghe was particularly active but found his efforts repeatedly blocked by Bruins players, including Jake DeBrusk, Hampus Lindholm, and Charlie Coyle. In total, the Bruins blocked six shots during the final moments of the game.

With mere seconds left, Florida had one last opportunity, as Sam Reinhart, who had scored the Panthers’ lone goal, found the puck near the left side of the net. However, Swayman made a spectacular save, his 28th of the night, ensuring Boston’s victory.

Boston’s defense, which had struggled in previous games, was notably sharper in Game 5. McAvoy was outstanding, contributing both offensively and defensively with a game-winning goal, an assist, three hits, and four blocked shots.

The Bruins collectively blocked 21 shots throughout the game, with contributions from 12 different players. Swayman’s solid performance, especially in the third period, where he stopped all 10 shots, was instrumental.

“We had an edge,” Swayman remarked post-game. “And we weren’t taking no for an answer.”

“Never say die,” McAvoy echoed. “We’re going home and this series is wide open. Let’s go home and win a hockey game.”

While the Bruins are still down 3-2 in the series, the momentum has shifted. If Boston can capitalize on this energy and win Game 6 at home, they will force a decisive Game 7 in Florida.

The Bruins now have an extra day before facing the Panthers in Boston on Friday night, offering Swayman a chance to recuperate and Brad Marchand a possible return after missing two games.

Boston’s resilience in Game 5 has breathed new life into their playoff campaign. With a home victory on Friday, they could set the stage for an epic Game 7 showdown on Sunday in Florida.

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