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Puck Drops on Seven Game Series Between Panthers and Bruins



After a six-game winning streak solidified the Panthers in one of the two wild card spots, the team dropped their final two games and finished in the second wild card spot. Falling to the last seed in the Eastern Conference was something the Cats were hoping to avoid, but after losing their last two games, they were passed by the New York Islanders for the top wild card spot.  As a result, the Panthers will have to take on the top seed Boston Bruins in the first round of the NHL Playoffs.

The Panthers will have a tough task at hand as they face off against a team that is not only the best in the NHL this season, but a team that is having one of the most impressive seasons in NHL history. The Bruins closed the season with 135 points, the next closest team in the NHL this year was the Carolina Hurricanes who finished the year with 113 points. Boston had a record of 65-12-5 this season, placing them at the top of the all-time list for wins in a single NHL season. To make things even more difficult for the Panthers, the Bruins will have home ice advantage for the seven-game series. Games one and two, along with games five and seven, if necessary, will be at the TD Garden where the Bruins are 34-4-3 on the year.

While the Panthers will be heavy under dogs going into their first-round matchup with the Bruins, they do have a little bit of history on their side. The 2018-2019 Tampa Bay Lightning previously held the record for the most wins in an NHL season with 62, before having their record shattered by the Bruins this year. That Lightning team went into the Stanley Cup Playoffs as a massive favorite to win not only their first round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets, but to win the Stanley Cup Final as a whole. The Columbus Blue Jackets dominated the Lightning who were coming off of the best season in NHL history at the time and swept them in the first round.

The Panthers hope history repeats itself starting Monday night at 7:30pm in a game where the Bruins will possibly be without their Captain Patrice Bergeron. Bergeron is listed as questionable for game one with an illness and is one of a few players that are considered “under the weather” according to Coach Jim Montgomery. Game one will be televised nationally on ESPN Monday night as will game two on Wednesday night. The Panthers hope to steal one of these two games in Boston to take over home ice advantage in this difficult matchup.