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  • Takeaways: Brandon Carlo’s dad goal highlights Game 1 win

    Tim Rosenthal May 7, 2024

    SUNRISE, Fla. — The Boston Bruins picked up where they left off following their thrilling Game 7 overtime win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

    The B’s followed a similar formula to victory against the Florida Panthers in Game 1 — without needing an extra session.

    Just 67 ticks after Matthew Tkachuk pounced on a Charlie McAvoy defensive zone turnover, the Bruins capitalized in their attacking end after Game 7 hero David Pastrnak forced Aaron Ekblad into a turnover en route to Morgan Geekie’s equalizer.

    Boston’s defensive core provided more offensive support to go ahead for good. Within a 3:22 span, a Mason Lohrei snipe and a late second-period tally by Brandon Carlo — fresh off welcoming the newest addition to his family — extended the B’s lead to 3-1.

    Jeremy Swayman weathered another Florida push at the beginning of the third. His teammates didn’t allow the Panthers to remain within striking distance, with Justin Brazeau backhanding his breakaway attempt past Sergei Bobrovsky following a Boston timeout.

    Jake DeBrusk capped off Boston’s 5-1 win with an empty netter late in regulation.

    Here’s what we learned from Boston’s Game 1 triumph.

    Carlo caps off a memorable 24 hours with dad goal.

    The Bruins carried every one of their healthy and injured core to South Florida. But one member of their ‘crew’ stayed home to attend to the newest member of his family.

    Brandon Carlo arrived at Amerant Bank Arena right before puck drop after he and his wife, Mayson, welcomed his newborn son, Crew, in the early Monday morning hours. 

    Despite working on limited sleep, Carlo, known primarily for his stay-at-home role, received the fatherly bump. The veteran defenseman netted a vital insurance marker in the closing seconds of the middle frame to extend Boston’s lead to 3-1.

    “It’s 24 hours that I won’t forget,” Carlo said. “I don’t score very often, so it’s a very cool experience for me, and there was a part played there by God, so I’m very thankful.”

    From supporting his wife in the hospital bed to playing a marque role in a playoff win, the last 24 hours may very well go down as Carlo’s most memorable moments of his career.

    In the process, he added one more highlight for his teammates following an eventful 72 hours.

    “I could only imagine what it’s like leaving your little one and your wife right after. Mayson is a big part of this team too because of that, allowing him to come and be here and supporting him,” Swayman said of Carlo. “It’s probably the most memorable moments that I’ll have in this playoff run, no doubt about it. And seeing him just so positive and happy, and we’re all so happy for him.”

    Swayman continues to rise to the occasion

    The Bruins could’ve easily turned to Linus Ullmark for his first start in two weeks. After all, the Swede developed quite the track record against the Panthers during his three regular season outings, posting a .947 save percentage and a perfect 3-0 record.

    Instead, the Bruins opted to ride Swayman’s hot hand

    The fourth-year netminder faced heavy traffic and bailed the Bruins out on multiple occasions during his sixth straight start. He faced his first test early, denying Anton Lundell’s doorstep bid on the very first shot he faced. 


    Multiple high-danger chances followed as the Bruins searched for their ‘A’ game. But Swayman shined with poise and determination en route to his 38-save outing.

    “His battle level inspires and gives our bench a lot of energy,” Montgomery said of Swayman. “But I will say, I thought our effort was good. I thought we were physical. I don’t think that our execution was close to where it needs to be.”

    Bruins receive a pair of timely responses after Tkachuk’s tally and third-period timeout.

    Even in a productive win, the Bruins still encountered moments of self-infliction.

    McAvoy’s struggles continued after his ill-time outlet feed led directly to Tkachuk’s stick. A few moments later, the Bruins committed their fourth too many men infraction of the postseason.

    Yet, the Bruins survived those developments. And they carried over a trend from Game 7 after Hampus Lindholm notched the equalizer 81 seconds after William Nylander’s marker midway through the third.

    Two days later, the Bruins had to overcome another deficit in the latter half of a 60-minute tilt, establishing a building block on Geekie’s third of the playoffs. But they entered survival mode in the third after the Panthers hemmed the Boston D deep on multiple shifts, prompting Jim Montgomery to use his timeout.

    The Bruins regained their stride a few shifts later, adding another insurance tally on Brazeau’s breakaway.

    “I just wanted us to relax, be calm, have poise and execute,” Montgomery said about the timeout. “I could tell players were hurried, a little frantic with the puck. We had opportunities to make plays, saw a couple of icings, so this would be the time where, you know, just reset.”

    Lohrei’s progression continues to rise in playoff duty.

    The former Ohio State standout spent his rookie season between Boston and Providence. With each callup, he continued to showcase his offensive skillset and progressed in his defensive development.

    Lohrei returned to Boston following Andrew Peeke’s injury in Game 2. He rose to the occasion in his first taste of playoff hockey, using his gifted puck-moving skillset to complement his improved 200-foot traits.

    Lohrei’s second-period tally exemplified his growth into a well-rounded defenseman. With Bobrovsky in the butterfly position, Lohrei sniped a crafty top-shelf marker on the short side to put the Bruins ahead for good in his first signature playoff highlight.

    “His poise with the puck and willingness to hang on to it, to find a better play is amazing,” Montgomery said of Lohrei.

    The Bruins, who witnessed Derek Forbort return following a multi-month absence between NHL games, will have some important decisions on the back end once they clear Peeke for a potential return to the lineup. But they shouldn’t have a difficult time discussing Lohrei’s involvement going forward after what they’ve seen from him during his first six career playoff tilts.

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    Tim Rosenthal

    Tim Rosenthal serves as the Managing Editor of Bruins Daily. He started contributing videos to the site in 2010 before fully coming on board during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011. His bylines over the last decade have been featured on Boston.com, FoxSports.com, College Hockey News, Patch and Inside Hockey. You can follow Tim on Twitter @_TimRosenthal.


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