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Bruins keep their season alive with Game 5 win over Panthers

SUNRISE — The Panthers will have to go back up to Boston, as the Bruins forced a sixth game in their second-round series against Florida.

The Bruins snapped their three-game losing streak in the series, keeping their season alive with a 2-1 win over the Panthers in Game 5 at Amerant Bank Arena on Tuesday.

Morgan Geekie started the Bruins on the right foot, scoring on a pass to him from Jake DeBrusk directly in front of the Panthers’ net less than five minutes into the game.

For the first time this series, the Boston defense appeared to have an answer for Florida’s offense. Meanwhile, the Bruins offense poured shots on Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. Boston outshot Florida 12-4 in the first period — a rarity for this series, as the Panthers outshot the Bruins 146-79 through the series’ first four games. The Panthers finished the game with 29 shots to the Bruins’ 28.

“They were real fast, and I thought we were trying to move the puck a certain way and it doesn’t really suit our style of game,” Panthers coach Paul Maurice said.

The Panthers equalized in the second period, as Florida’s leading scorer Sam Reinhart snagged a rebound in front of Boston goalie Jeremy Swayman and fired it past him to knot the game at one with his fifth goal of the postseason. The goal came moments after Maurice gave a fiery speech to his team during a media timeout.

“I don’t remember the exact words of the message,” Maurice said. “I wasn’t mad at them. I understood what they were going through. I just thought they needed some profanity in their life, and I brought some.”

In a scene reminiscent of Game 4’s most controversial moment, Boston’s Charlie McAvoy scored, and Maurice challenged the goal for goalie interference. After a long review, the goal stood, and the Bruins took a 2-1 lead midway through the second period.

“I thought that there was just enough of a bump,” Maurice said. “There’s a difference between the clean shot and the rebound shot. Those are two different situations. It’s a clean shot, and I thought in the crease, keeping Bob from setting is enough.”

The Panthers had their chances to knot the game up, but several quality shot opportunities sailed wide of the net.

“There’s always things you can do a little bit differently, make it a little bit tougher in front of their net,” said Reinhart, who had a last-second opportunity in front of Swayman. “The goalies that are left, they see pucks, they’re going make some saves. That might be the only adjustment.”

Bobrovsky kept the Panthers in the game, making two stellar saves on a breakaway chance as part of his 26-save effort.

Boston and Florida will play Game 6 at the TD Garden on Friday. The game time is still to be determined.

“We play a seven-game series for a reason,” Reinhart said. “It’s not always going to go your way. You try and learn from it. … (There are) some things we can do a little bit better, and we’re going to learn from it. We’re going to recover, and we’re going to come back.”

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