Hall, DeBrusk each score twice as Bruins beat Panthers for 3-1 series lead
Taylor Hall and Jake DeBrusk each scored twice, Linus Ullmark stopped 41 shots and the visiting Boston Bruins beat the Florida Panthers 6-2 in an Eastern Conference first-round playoff game Sunday.
Matthew Tkachuk and Sam Bennett had goals for Florida, while Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 25 shots for the Panthers, who’ll try to fend off elimination when they visit Boston for Game 5 on Wednesday.
Tempers flared at the end, with all 11 players on the ice — Bobrovsky had been pulled — getting involved in a scrum with 3:11 remaining, highlighted by Ullmark wanting to fight Tkachuk and referees not letting that happen.
Ullmark wound up getting a misconduct penalty, ending his day a bit early.
Hall put it away with 3:36 left, getting behind Florida’s defence and beating Bobrovsky easily for a 5-2 edge that sent Panthers fans to the exits — possibly for the final time this season.
EWWW TAYLOR #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/pliK8sig9R
All Boston needs to do now is avoid a three-game losing streak in order to reach the second round for the fifth time in the past six seasons.
The Bruins dropped three in a row only once all season, on their way to having the best regular-season mark in NHL history — 65-12-5. Sunday’s win was Boston’s 68th of the season; only 10 teams, including playoffs, have ever won more in a single season.
Both of DeBrusk’s goals put Boston on top by two — the first a power play-score 1:52 into the second for a 2-0 lead, the other when he merely had to swipe a puck that popped out of Bobrovsky’s glove into the net for a 4-2 edge with 11:55 remaining.
Stars bounce back, even series against Wild
Evgenii Dadonov gave the Stars a two-score lead early in the third period just eight seconds after escaping the penalty box, his third goal of the series. John Klingberg scored for the Wild less than three minutes later against his former team right after a goal-line block on the other end.
Both of Seguin’s goals followed questionable penalties on Minnesota’s feisty right wing Marcus Foligno, who was called for tripping with 4:49 remaining before Seguin delivered his third goal of the series.
Frederick Gaudreau gave the Wild another opening on his power-play goal with 1:20 left, but Oettinger didn’t budge. He finished off another golden playoff performance by getting a glove on Marcus Johansson’s close-range slap shot from the right circle with 12 seconds left as the Wild bench winced with disappointment.
Nothing better than a hometown win with a special someone in the crowd.
Jake Oettinger made a HUGE save to secure the @DallasStars win… and Papa Otter was BEAMING. #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/tX9I8XBChH
The Central Division foes will relocate for Game 5 in Dallas on Tuesday night.
The Wild played again without top centre Joel Eriksson Ek, their third-leading scorer and truest two-way player, with a lower-body injury that has limited him to just one shift in the series. They sure could’ve used his stick and strength around the goal to knock in a rebound against Oettinger, the unflappable young goalie who grew up in Lakeville about a half-hour drive from downtown St. Paul.
The Wild created plenty of prime chances with their attack, but their passing game was just a bit off. Foligno was denied twice on one breakaway, the rebound try deflected by Oettinger’s pad. Wild star Kirill Kaprizov, who scored in Game 1 but has been hounded and pounded by the Stars all series, had a breakaway shot brushed aside by Oettinger, too.
The 24-year-old Oettinger made a post-season name for himself a year ago with a 64-save effort in the Game 7 overtime loss to Calgary.
Hurricanes push Islanders to brink
Seth Jarvis scored twice and the Carolina Hurricanes snapped an eight-game post-season road losing streak with a 5-2 victory over New York on Sunday, pushing the Islanders to the brink of elimination.
Sebastian Aho added a goal and two assists and Antti Raanta made 27 saves in helping the Canes win on the road in the playoffs for the first time since the second round in 2021.
Aho’s goal was his record-setting 20th in the post-season with Carolina, breaking the franchise record he shared with Eric Staal.
Defenceman Adam Pelech and forward Bo Horvat scored for the Islanders, who trailed 4-0 early in the third period. Ilya Sorokin made 24 saves , but he had little help on the goals.
New York, which gave its fans hope with a 5-1 win here on Friday night, showed very little and took a couple of bad penalties. Despite frantic game-long chants of “Let’s Go Islanders” they struggled as they were booed off the ice trailing 3-0 after two periods.
Jarvis extended the lead to 4-0 early in the third, scoring on a 2-on-1 break with Aho.
A roughing penalty against Matt Martin put Carolina on the power play to start the second period and Necas scored from in close.
Aho’s record-setting goal came on a 2-on-1 break with MacEachern, who was recalled from the minors after Teuvo Tervainen broke his hand in Game 2.
Pelech scored a couple of minutes after Jarvis got his second and Horvat tallied late on a breakaway.