Bruins vs. Panthers Game 5 lineup: Projected lines, pairings, goalies

Bruins vs. Panthers Game 5 lineup: Projected lines, pairings, goalies originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

If the Boston Bruins are going to reach the Eastern Conference Final, they’ll have to accomplish something the franchise has never done: overcome a 3-1 series deficit.

The Panthers lead this second-round playoff series 3-1 after a 3-2 victory in Game 4 at TD Garden on Sunday night. Florida has now won five consecutive playoff games in Boston dating back to last season.

The Bruins are 0-25 all-time in playoff series when they trail 3-1. The last time they trailed 3-1 was the 2020 second-round series versus the Tampa Bay Lightning in the COVID bubble playoffs. The B’s won Game 1, then lost four in a row. Boston is in danger of a similar scenario unfolding ahead of Tuesday night’s must-win Game 5 in Sunrise, Fla.

Bruins captain Brad Marchand traveled with the team and was on the ice for Tuesday’s morning skate, but head coach Jim Montgomery told reporters after the session that the veteran left wing is not an option for Game 5.

Marchand suffered an upper body injury in Game 3 when he was hit in the head by Panthers center Sam Bennett. Bennett was not penalized, fined or suspended for the hit.

Bruins netminder Jeremy Swayman played brilliantly in Game 4 with 39 saves (including 12 high-danger stops) on 42 shots. He leads all playoff goalies with a .930 save percentage. He is expected to make his 10th consecutive start in Game 5.

Regardless of who plays for the Bruins, one adjustment that must be made is shooting the puck a lot more. The Bruins have tallied 18 or fewer shots in each of the last three games. Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky has struggled in this series with an .885 save percentage, but he hasn’t been tested much through four games. The Bruins need to be a lot more aggressive in getting pucks on net and crashing the low slot to capitalize on rebounds.

Another improvement the Bruins need to make is staying out of the penalty box. It’s fair to say the Bruins have gotten a tough whistle in this series, but they need to be more disciplined. The Panthers have had six power-play opportunities in each of the last three games. It’s going to be extraordinarily tough for the Bruins to win if they give a highly skilled Panthers power play that many chances to score.

The Panthers are not expected to make any major changes to their lineup Tuesday.

Here are the projected lineups for Bruins-Panthers Game 5.

Boston Bruins (1-3)

Forwards

Jake DeBrusk–Morgan Geekie–David Pastrnak

James van Riemsdyk–Pavel Zacha–Justin Brazeau

Danton Heinen–Charlie Coyle–Trent Frederic

Jakub Lauko–John Beecher–Pat Maroon

Defensemen

Mason Lohrei–Charlie McAvoy

Hampus Lindholm–Brandon Carlo

Derek Forbort–Andrew Peeke

Goalie

Jeremy Swayman

Florida Panthers (3-1)

Forwards

Vladimir Tarasenko–Aleksander Barkov–Sam Reinhart

Carter Verhaeghe–Sam Bennett–Matthew Tkachuk

Eetu Luostarinen–Anton Lundell–Evan Rodrigues

Steven Lorentz–Kevin Stenlund–Kyle Okposo

Defensemen

Gustav Forsling–Aaron Ekblad

Niko Mikkola–Brandon Montour

Oliver Ekman-Larsson–Dmitry Kulikov

Goalie

Sergei Bobrovsky

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