BOSTON (AP) — Brandon Montour tied it with one minute left in regulation, and Carter Verhaeghe scored the game-winner at 8:35 of overtime to lead the Florida Panthers to a 4-3 Game 7 victory on Sunday night and eliminate the record-setting Boston Bruins from the NHL playoffs.
Sergei Bobrovsky made 28 saves as the Panthers won three in a row after falling behind 3-1 in the series to advance in the post-season for just the second time since reaching the Stanley Cup final in 1996. They will face the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second round.
Boston rallied from a two-goal deficit to take a 3-2 lead, but Florida pulled Bobrovsky for one final push and Montour tied it with his second of the game. Verhaeghe won it on a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle that just made it under the crossbar.
That eliminated the Bruins, who set NHL records with 65 wins and 135 points in the regular season but become the second Presidents’ Trophy winner in five years to lose in the first round.
Sam Reinhart also scored for Florida. The Bruins had not lost three games in a row all season.
David Krejci and Tyler Bertuzzi scored after Boston fell behind 2-0, and David Pastrnak gave the Bruins their only lead of the game on a power-play goal 55 seconds into the third period.
Jeremy Swayman, making his first start of the series as a sub for likely Vezina Trophy winner Linus Ullmark, stopped 32 shots.
The game could be the last for Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron, the five-time Selke Trophy-winner who teased retirement last year but opted to return. He was the last Boston player on the ice.
AP NHL Playoffs: https://apnews.com/hub/stanley-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Jimmy Golen, The Associated Press