Panthers knot series at 1-1 with drubbing of Bruins

Captain Aleksander Barkov collected two goals and two assists to fuel the Florida Panthers to a 6-1 victory over the Boston Bruins in Sunrise, Fla., on Wednesday in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Sam Reinhart notched four assists and defenseman Brandon Montour scored a goal and set up two others to help the Panthers even the best-of-seven series with the Bruins at one victory apiece. Game 3 is Friday in Boston.

Fourth-liner Steven Lorentz, Eetu Luostarinen and defenseman Gustav Forsling also scored for Florida, which recorded six consecutive goals in a playoff game for the first time in franchise history. Sergei Bobrovsky made 14 saves in the win.

Jeremy Swayman, who turned aside 19 of 23 shots, yielded more than two goals for the first time in eight games this postseason. Linus Ullmark made eight saves in relief and Charlie Coyle scored a goal in the first period for the Bruins.

An unmarked Lorentz deftly deflected Montour’s shot from the point past Swayman to forge a 1-1 tie at 1:56 of the second period. The goal was the second of the playoffs for Lorentz, who had one tally in 38 games during the regular season.

Barkov gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead just under eight minutes later after gaining inside position on Boston defenseman Charlie McAvoy and cleaning up a rebound off a shot from Reinhart.

Forsling doubled the advantage after he dropped to a knee while blasting a shot past Swayman with two seconds remaining in the second period.

A turnover deep in Boston’s zone allowed Barkov to feed Luostarinen at the back post for an easy conversion and a 4-1 lead for the Panthers at 1:28 of the third period.

Barkov forced a turnover at the blue line and beat Ullmark at 10:52 of the third before feeding Montour at the doorstep just 66 seconds later. Barkov has four goals in his past three games.

Boston’s swarming forecheck resulted in Florida committing a turnover in its defensive end, leading to the game’s first goal with 7:48 remaining in the first period. Pavel Zacha executed a give-and-go with captain Brad Marchand before the latter backhanded a goal-mouth feed that Coyle converted for his first goal of the postseason.

–Field Level Media