Projected lines, pairings, goalies for Bruins-Panthers Game 1

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The Boston Bruins avoided a repeat of last season and won their first round playoff series with an overtime victory in Game 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, setting up a much-anticipated rematch with the Florida Panthers.

The Panthers shocked the hockey world in 2023 by upsetting the record-breaking Bruins with a Game 7 overtime win in Boston during the first round. Now the Bruins have a chance for revenge.

One major difference between last year and this series is home ice advantage. The Panthers have it this time, but that might not be a bad thing for the Bruins, who have won four of their last six road playoff games. They’ve also won four of their last five road games in Florida, including victories in Games 3 and 4 of last year’s first-round matchup.

Here’s a look at the Bruins’ playoff stats on the road over the last two seasons:

  • Goals scored: 3.83 per game
  • Goals against: 2.67 per game
  • Power play: 42.1 percent
  • Penalty kill: 85.7 percent

The Bruins abandoned their goalie rotation after Game 3 of the first round. Jeremy Swayman posted a .950 save percentage and didn’t allow more than two goals in any of his six starts versus the Leafs. He absolutely deserves to start Game 1, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Linus Ullmark made an appearance at some point in the series. The Bruins have not officially announced their starting goalie yet, though.

One potential lineup change might be at fourth-line center. Patrick Brown was in that spot during Monday’s morning skate. Brown was recalled on an emergency basis Sunday. He hasn’t played for the Bruins since Jan. 27, but he has played great for the Providence Bruins with 20 points in his last 20 AHL games. Brown also could contribute on the penalty kill and has done well on faceoffs in his career. Boston was the worst team on faceoffs (43.8 percent) in the first round.

Brandon Carlo and his wife welcomed their second child Monday morning. B’s head coach Jim Montgomery told reporters after the morning skate that the team is “very hopeful” Carlo will make it to Florida for the game. If not, Matt Grzelcyk and Derek Forbort are among the options to enter the lineup.

The Panthers won’t have center Sam Bennett for the series opener. His status after that is unknown. No other lineup changes are expected for Florida.

Here are the projected lineups for Bruins-Panthers Game 1.

Boston Bruins (0-0)

Forwards

Brad Marchand–Charlie Coyle–Jake DeBrusk

Pavel Zacha–Morgan Geekie–David Pastrnak

James van Riemsdyk–Trent Frederic–Justin Brazeau

John Beecher–Patrick Brown–Pat Maroon

Defensemen

Mason Lohrei–Charlie McAvoy

Hampus Lindholm–Brandon Carlo

Parker Wotherspoon–Kevin Shattenkirk

Goalie

Jeremy Swayman

Florida Panthers (0-0)

Forwards

Vladimir Tarasenko–Aleksander Barkov–Sam Reinhart

Carter Verhaeghe–Anton Lundell–Matthew Tkachuk

Eetu Luostarinen –Kevin Stenlund–Evan Rodrigues

Nick Cousins–Steven Lorentz–Kyle Okposo

Defensemen

Gustav Forsling–Aaron Ekblad

Niko Mikkola–Brandon Montour

Oliver Ekman-Larsson–Dmitry Kulikov

Goalie

Sergei Bobrovsky

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