BOSTON – The Bruins return to TD Garden on Friday night for Game 3 of their second-round matchup against the Florida Panthers, as they aim to take a 2-1 series lead.

“It was nice for everybody to get home, see the family, sleep in their own beds. I like our team this morning, they’re calm and focused. I think tonight the juices will get going, especially with our crowd,” coach Jim Montgomery said following Friday’s morning skate on Causeway Street.

Boston’s bench boss added that the Bruins must improve their game significantly from their 6-1 loss in Game 2 if they expect to have success moving forward in this series.

“Florida played an excellent game. Fatigue is an excuse,” said Montgomery. “We’re playing for the Stanley Cup, you’ve got to push through whatever it is. For me, what I didn’t like was our inability to play North, our inability to break pucks out, get pucks out of our D-zone, get pucks through the neutral zone clean, and our lack of forecheck.”

Veteran winger and three-time Stanley Cup champion Pat Maroon said the Bruins must play with emotion in their game.

“I think we should be pissed off,” said Maroon. “Especially about our game, most importantly. Their stuff, whatever. The scrums, them yelling in our face after they scored – it’s over, it’s done with. We gotta be mad here, play with intensity, play the way we’re supposed to be playing.

“We’re winning our battles, we’re doing the same thing, we’re hitting, and we’re playing the simple brand of hockey that the Bruins play. We’re in their face, so we just gotta continue that. The stuff that happened. We know what happened. It stays between this locker room.”

While Maroon said the Bruins need to bring plenty of vigor on Friday night, they also should aim to stay disciplined.

“You’ve just got to stay even-keeled, never too high, never too low,” said Maroon. “Listen, you can’t be taking penalties like myself in between whistles. Their power play’s eventually gonna get one. Just got to be smart between the whistles, play hard, and if anything’s out there then maybe something will happen. But right now, gotta continue to play hard here.”

Maroon talks ahead of Round 2, Game 3 vs. FLA

Peeke Available

After missing the last seven games with an injury suffered in Game 2 against Toronto, defenseman Andrew Peeke appears poised for a return to the lineup on Friday night. Montgomery said the blue liner is “available” for Boston’s Game 3 matchup with the Panthers, though he did not confirm that Peeke would suit up.

“He did a real good job because you know what you’re gonna get,” Montgomery said of what Peeke brought to the lineup upon his arrival from Columbus at the trade deadline. “You’re gonna get someone who’s gonna be physical, who’s gonna defend his net hard, and he’s gonna join the rush.”

Peeke, who’s taking part in his first postseason experience, said he is eager to get back into game action.

“I’m excited. Got a small little taste there at the beginning of the Toronto series but watching is hard,” said Peeke. “You’ve got to trust the fellas to accomplish what they’ve got to do. That Toronto series, the way it ended was amazing to see and now we’re in a 1-1 series. Couldn’t be more excited to jump back in.”

Peeke added that it will be important for him to embrace the physicality and intensity of the series, which ratcheted up a notch during the third period of Game 2.

“It’s intense. You all saw last game, that third period, and that emotion, that energy. I’m just looking to add to it,” said Peeke. “It’s exciting for me coming back into a game like this and seeing what the guys have been putting out there on the ice and just being able to add what I can.

“Stepping right into it. No holding back. It’s exciting for me seeing all the juices flowing, the commitment, and how this team is sticking together thorough it all. I can’t wait to just add to that.”

For the Parkland, Florida, native, the chance to suit up against the team he grew up rooting for makes the experience that much sweeter.

“It’s pretty cool,” said Peeke, whose father had Panthers season tickets when he was growing up. “If you were gonna tell young me that I’d be playing against this team, I would’ve told you know. But being in this spot, obviously playing for the Bruins and having that honor is pretty special. And playing against your hometown team makes it even better.”

Peeke talks before re-entering the lineu for Game 3

Wait, There’s More

  • Montgomery did not name a starting goalie for Game 3, saying, “We have made a decision and I’m not gonna disclose who’s gonna be in the crease.”
  • Boston’s bench boss also said the Bruins are going to “make a change to the lineup up front,” while adding that Danton Heinen remains “day-to-day.” Jesper Boqvist did not participate in the morning skate, though Montgomery said that was due to a miscommunication. “Boqvist should have been out there this morning, that was a bad communication by me not notifying him that he should’ve been out there, but we are gonna make a chance to the lineup up front,” said Montgomery.
  • Maroon said he is not aiming to get involved with Florida forward Matthew Tkachuk, who dropped the gloves with David Pastrnak at the end of Game 2. “It’s two skilled guys fighting,” said Maroon. “Tkachuk’s not gonna fight me, so if I go out there and take a dumb penalty and they get a power play, my job’s not accomplished, right? Can’t look at like that. Take numbers. I don’t like how [Tkachuk] hit [Pastrnak] on the ground twice, I think that’s dirty. I like the idea of [Pastrnak] fighting, I think Pasta did a good job. That’s what leaders do. He stood up for the team, he took charge. You’ve got to love that kind of stuff. That’s a good leader. He’s fighting another skilled player. Obviously, it’s the game within the game. I don’t like the aftermath of it. We know that part…I’d probably never play against Tkachuk anyway, so let’s be real.”
  • The Bruins have now taken five too many men penalties through nine games this postseason, which is one shy of the all-time record for a single Stanley Cup Playoffs. “I take full responsibility,” Montgomery said on Thursday upon the team’s return from Florida. “I have to be clearer, I have to be louder, and I have to start grabbing people’s pants so they don’t jump when they shouldn’t, I’ll start doing that. All of us together, the communication, receiving the communication needs to be here. [Wednesday] night, there was no excuse for he too many men.”

Montgomery talks before Bruins vs. Panthers in Game 3