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Panthers Force Game Seven Against NHL’s Best Bruins

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The wild-card Florida Panthers prevailed in a dramatic third period and fended off elimination in the NHL Playoffs for the second time in a row and sent the Boston Bruins into a seventh and decisive game.

The Bruins are coming off of a spectacular season, they posted the best regular-season record in NHL history. They’re now staring down potential elimination in the playoffs to a Panthers team that fought tooth and nail until the near end of the regular season just to get into the postseason.

“Everyone’s rolling. Everyone’s playing. Everyone’s doing the right things, it’s fun to be a part of this, for sure,” Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov said.

Matthew Tkachuk scored twice, Eetu Luostarinen put the Panthers ahead with 5:38 remaining and the Panthers skated off the ice with a 7-5 victory on Friday night. Barkov, Brandon Montour, Zac Dalpe and Sam Reinhart would all add the five other scores for the Panthers.

Sergei Bobrovsky would record 30 saves on the ice against the Bruins in game six. Reinhart would seal the victory with an empty-net goal with 28 seconds on the game clock, the seventh and final goal of the third period. Four of those seven scores were in favor of the Panthers.

Tyler Bertuzzi and David Pastrnak each scored twice, while Jake DeBrusk also scored for the Bruins. Brad Marchand dished four assists and 26 saves came from Linus Ullmark for Boston.

The Bruins had finished 42 points ahead of Florida in the Eastern Conference standings this season, the biggest gap between two playoff opponents in almost three decades. Boston also had the best regular-season record in NHL history (65-12), and they had one point leads twice during the third period, they did not hold either one of them.

“We worked all year to get home-ice advantage, and it comes down to a game seven where we’re up for elimination now,” said Jake DeBrusk.

It all comes down to Sunday, Florida on the cusp of a historic upset and Boston holding on to avoid a massive collapse after making NHL history and being dubbed the “best team of all-time” by national hockey pundits.

“We know that there’s going to be a war out there, that’s how it is in the first round. It’s the toughest one to get by,” said Linus Ullmark.

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