FORT LAUDERDALE – Being down a man can be one of the most stressful two minutes in a playoff game.

Luckily, through five games of the Eastern Conference Second Round, the Florida Panthers’ stalwart penalty kill units have eased some of that stress and had the Boston Bruins’ power play on lockdown.

Finding themselves down a man 14 times against the Bruins in the series thus far, the Panthers have surrendered just one power play goal, eight shots on net and 14 shot attempts, good for a 92.9% kill.

“I think our PK is just dialed in,” said captain and 2024 Selke Trophy finalist Aleksander Barkov, who is much to credit for Florida’s success on the penalty kill with a 57.14 faceoff percentage and an assist on Brandon Montour’s shorthanded goal in Game 2. “We watch a lot of video and have learned a lot about their power play. Playing against Tampa in the first round, they have an elite power play as well, so learning from that has helped too. Boston has really good power play units, so you need to be on your toes every second.”

Montour's shorthanded goal makes it 6-1 in the third.

Getting plenty of looks against Boston’s power play, the reliable defensive pairing of Aaron Ekblad and Gustav Forsling have spent 10:21 minutes on the ice, allowing no goals and just two shots on net.

Also stepping up on the blueline shorthanded, the “Lucky 7’s” pairing of Dmitry Kulikov and Niko Mikkola has allowed no goals or shots on net in the 4:14 minutes they’ve spent together on the kill.

“It’s something we’ve been working on all season,” Forsling said of the team’s stingy penalty kill, which finished sixth in the NHL during the regular season at 82.5%. “We’ve been talking a lot about, watching a lot of video, and I think we’re just executing.”

When the Bruins have gone on the power play, the Panthers have done everything to not let the momentum swing.

It doesn’t always stand out on the stat sheet, but even seemingly small statistics like a team-leading four takeaways from forward Kevin Stenlund or the six hits and three blocked shots from forward Eetu Luostarinen have given the Panthers a much-needed extra boost in big moments on the penalty kill.

“It’s huge (for momentum),” said Forsling. “Special teams is huge in the playoffs and you can see it out there.”

Up 3-2 in the series, the Panthers will look to keep the Bruins’ power play off the scoresheet and close out the Second Round when they face-off at TD Garden on Friday night at 7 p.m. ET on TNT/truTV/MAX.

The official watch party in South Florida will be at Baptist Health IcePlex.

Visit for details.

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