NHL Playoff Recaps: Panthers oust Bruins, and Kraken dethrone Avs in Game 7 shockers

NHL Playoff Recaps:  April 30, 2023

The Stanley Cup Playoffs have produced some stunning results this season but none more shocking than the top two favorites being eliminated in the first round on Sunday night.

NHL Playoff Recaps: Panthers oust Bruins

Panthers 4 vs Bruins 3 (OT) (Series: 4-3, FL)

Carter Verhaeghe scored at 8:35 of overtime to propel the visiting Florida Panthers to a 4-3 victory over the league-leading Boston Bruins on Sunday in Game 7 of a first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.

Off Sam Bennett’s primary feed from behind the goal line, Verhaeghe buried a shot from the right circle to lift Florida to its third straight win, which vaulted the Panthers into a second-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Panthers became the second team to overcome a 3-1 series deficit to defeat the Presidents’ Trophy winner in any round, joining the Montreal Canadiens, who accomplished the feat in the 2010 conference quarterfinals against the Capitals.

Brandon Montour’s second goal of the game — a one-timer from the left circle with 59.3 seconds left in the third period — forced the series’ second straight overtime game in Boston.

The Bruins trailed 2-0 before scoring three straight goals, including two in less than five minutes to begin the third. David Pastrnak’s goal at 4:11 stood as the game-winner until Montour struck in the final minute.

Sam Reinhart also scored, Anton Lundell had two assists and Sergei Bobrovsky made 33 saves for the Panthers.

David Krejci, who scored Boston’s first goal and assisted on the next two, surpassed captain Patrice Bergeron for the most career Game 7 points in Bruins history with 13.

Tyler Bertuzzi also scored, and Dmitry Orlov had two assists for the Bruins. Jeremy Swayman made 27 saves for Boston.

Patrice Bergeron played with herniated disc

Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron told reporters Sunday night that he was playing with a herniated disc in his back during Boston’s first-round Eastern Conference playoff series against the Florida Panthers.

Bergeron sustained the herniated disc during the Bruins’ final game of the regular season, a 5-4 victory over the host Montreal Canadiens back on April 13. It was labeled as an upper-body injury at the time, and Bergeron did not return to the game against Montreal for precautionary reasons.

The injury forced Bergeron to miss the first four games of the series against Florida, but the Bruins won three of those contests. Bergeron returned for Game 5 and scored a goal — his lone point of the 2023 playoffs — but it wasn’t enough, as Boston fell 4-3. The Panthers then won Games 6 and 7 to stun the Bruins and advance to the second round.

With the offseason now upon Boston after its historic 65-12-5 (135 points) regular season, Bergeron also said that he was weighing his options when it came to the future.

“I gotta take some time and talk with the family and go from there,” Bergeron said. “Right now it’s too hard to process anything. Obviously we’re shocked and disappointed.”

Bergeron, 37, recorded 58 points (27 goals, 31 assists) in 78 games this season, his 19th with the Bruins.

NHL Playoff Recaps: Kraken dethrone Avs

nhl playoff recaps
Apr 30, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Members of the Seattle Kraken celebrate defeating the Colorado Avalanche in game seven of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Kraken 2 vs Avs 1 (Series: 4-3, SEA)

Oliver Bjorkstrand scored two goals, Philipp Grubauer made 33 saves, and the Seattle Kraken beat the defending champion Colorado Avalanche 2-1 in Game 7 of the Western Conference quarterfinals in Denver on Sunday night.

Yanni Gourde assisted on both goals for Seattle, which won three of the four games in Colorado in the series to advance to the second round.

The Kraken, who scored first in every game of the series, will face the Dallas Stars in the second round. That series begins Tuesday in Dallas.

Mikko Rantanen scored and Alexandar Georgiev turned away 25 shots for the Avalanche, who have lost six straight Game 7s since 2002.

Colorado played without Andrew Cogliano, who suffered a fracture in his neck in Game 6 on Friday.

–Field Level Media