Taylor Hall had a goal and an assist, Linus Ullmark stopped 28 shots and the Boston Bruins beat the Florida Panthers 4-2 in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference first-round series on Friday night.

Charlie Coyle, David Pastrnak and Nick Foligno also scored goals for Boston, which regained home field advantage and took a 2-1 series lead. Dmitry Orlov had a couple of long drive-off passes that turned into assists for the Bruins.

Alex Lyon stopped 23 of 26 shots for Florida, Pastrnak’s goal with 11:28 remaining chasing him and causing Florida to send out Sergei Bobrovsky. And that suggests the Panthers have a big decision to make on a starting goalkeeper before Game 4 at Sunrise on Sunday afternoon.

Gustav Forsling and Sam Reinhart had goals for Florida, which didn’t get past Ullmark until 5:19 remained. Boston improved to 50-3-0 this season by allowing no more than two goals.


Teammates congratulate Taylor Hall #71 of the Boston Bruins after he scored a first period goal against the Florida Panthers in game three of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup playoffs at FLA Live Arena on April 21, 2023 in Sunrise, Florida. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

The Bruins were again without captain Patrice Bergeron, out with an upper body injury. He won’t play in Game 4 either, and the Bruins believe he’ll be ready to play when the series returns to Boston for Game 5 next week.

Florida is built to let the shots fly. There have been three teams in NHL history that have taken more than 3,000 shots in a season: the 1970–71 Bruins are one of them, and the other two are the 2021–22 Panthers and the 2022-23 Panthers. .

That makes what Boston did even more impressive than it looked on the stat sheet.

The Bruins held Florida to four shots in the second quarter, matching the Panthers’ fourth-lowest total in any of their 254 quarters this season to that point. And while completely clamping down on the defensive end, Boston turned a 1-0 lead into a 2-0 lead.

Marchand sent a wobbly puck into the net from the right spot, and Coyle, positioned in front of the net, hit it as it sailed towards goal. The puck bounced off the ice and passed Lyon at exactly 6:00 of the second.

Charlie Coyle greets his teammates

Teammates congratulate Charlie Coyle #13 of the Boston Bruins after scoring a second period goal against the Florida Panthers in game three of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup playoffs at FLA Live Arena on June 21. April 2023 in Sunrise, Florida. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)


Pastrnak got the second of Orlov’s long assists after getting behind the defense to beat Lyon to a 3-0 lead, and Foligno made it 4-0 by deflecting a Bobrovsky pass with 8:15 to play.

The Bruins, as you’d expect from a No. 1 seed coming off a big loss at home, flew out and controlled long stretches of the opening period.

But it was a seemingly innocuous play that gave Boston a 1-0 lead after the first 20 minutes. Hall was along the boards on the right when he received a long clearance from Dmitry Orlov, controlled the puck and fired a shot just inside the blue line.

It went over Lyon’s glove, and at 2:26 into the contest, Boston had the lead.

Linus Ullmark and Hampus Lindholm

Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark (35) is punched by Boston Bruins defenseman Hampus Lindholm (27) after a second period goal by Boston during Game 3 of the first round of the the Eastern Conference Playoffs between the Boston Bruins and Florida Panthers on Friday. , April 21, 2023 at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida (Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)



Boston improved to 15-2-1 after one loss this season. … Florida hasn’t been shutout at home in 109 straight games, going back to Feb. 24, 2021. Ullmark was a game-time decision after Boston’s morning skid, but showed no negative effects of anything in Game 3. Florida D Aaron Ekblad briefly lost with 11:11 remaining in the second after colliding with Boston’s Charlie McAvoy. Ekblad immediately grabbed the top of his helmet, went straight to the locker room after coming off the ice, and returned less than three minutes later.