Panthers spoil Bruins’ bid for top seed in East
The Bruins didn’t seem like the team Bryce Harper Jersey with the most to gain until it was too late Sunday night.
Roberto Luongo came off the bench to shut down Boston in the third period, and the Florida Panthers dashed the Bruins’ hopes of getting the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs with a 4-2 win.
The Bruins trailed Tampa Bay by a point heading into the regular-season finale but couldn’t top a Panthers team that was eliminated from postseason contention Saturday.
You would have hoped the urgency would have been there with an opportunity to win the division, Bruins forward David Backes said. We had it in the third, but needed it right from the get go.
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Boston will host the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round beginning Thursday night. The Leafs were 3-1 against the Bruins in the regular season.
Florida starter James Reimer left in the third with an injury, and Luongo came in and stopped eight shots over the last 8:07. The pair combined to make 41 saves.
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Henrik Borgstrom, Frank Vatrano, Maxim Mamin and Evgenii Dadonov scored for Florida.
Would have been easy for them to come and in and shut it down but it’s a competitive league, Bruins forward Brad Marchand said.
Boston had been unbeaten in regulation over its last 11 home games and had beaten Florida in 12 of 13 overall.
Boston lost in the first round last year to Ottawa in six games after failing to make the playoffs the two previous seasons.
Marchand failed to score in the Bruins’ final six games, and David Krejci has one goal in 16 games. … Borgstrom scored his first career goal. … Florida D Keith Yandle tied his career high with his 48th assist.
Beckham has made it clear he wants a new contract at a higher price, but when general manager Dave Gettleman was asked about the report at the annual NFL owner’s meeting, he said, Yeah, I can read. I got nothing to say. However, Co-owner John Mara said the team would listen to trade offers for Beckham.
Beckham is coming off a season-ending ankle injury in which he missed 12 games, but he holds the NFL record for fewest games to 200 catches and fewest games to 3,000 career receiving yards through his first three seasons.
He put pitches where he wanted to, Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman said, noting that Scherzer was able to throw his cutter to some spots where we didn’t have a chance to hit it.
By the end, Scherzer was still reaching back for 95 mph pitches, finishing things off with strikeouts of pinch hitter Charlie Culberson and Ender Inciarte.
Kind of like he got stronger as he went, too, Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. Last couple of innings were his best.