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The Florida Panthers have struggled against the Bruins this season

The Florida Panthers haven't beaten the Boston Bruins since knocking them out of the first round in Game 7 last year.

Boston went undefeated in four games against the Panthers this season, with two of those games coming in overtime, including a month ago at the Garden.

In that game, the Bruins won it 3-2 on a goal from Jesper Boqvist 2:05 into overtime.

“I thought we got better in the third period,” Paul Maurice said after his team’s final away game of the regular season.

“We had nothing in the tank to do it. They enforced it. I was happy with the effort. I wasn’t happy with the result, but I was happy with the performance.”

This win gave Boston a 5-point lead over the Panthers in the Atlantic Division race – Florida ultimately won by one point after winning its final four games of the regular season.

By beating Boston at Atlantic despite only scoring two of the available eight points, Florida opened the first round with Tampa Bay and has home-court advantage in this upcoming series.

Game 1 takes place on Monday at 8 p.m. in Sunrise (ESPN).

Florida and Boston played each other twice in the final weeks of the season.

Although Florida forced OT in Boston, the Bruins defeated the Panthers 4-3 on March 26 in Sunrise.

In that game, the Panthers led 3-2 midway through the third period on a goal by Carter Verhagehe, but the Bruins tied it with goals from Trent Frederic, who tied it, and Pavel Zacha's goal with 2:21 left to victory.

On the game-winning goal, David Pastrnak — the hero of Boston's 2-1 OT win in Game 7 on Saturday night against the Maple Leafs — fired a shot that bounced off Zacha's skate.

“In three weeks we will reach a new level,” said Boston coach Jim Montgomery afterwards.

He's not wrong.

The Panthers and Bruins will meet in the postseason playoffs for the second straight year.

In last year's opening round, Florida lost both home games 3-1 before upsetting the heavily favored Bruins.

Anna Harden

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