Report: NHL told Bruins, Panthers their series will be ‘heavily scrutinized'

Report: NHL told Bruins, Panthers their series will be ‘heavily scrutinized' originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The physicality during the third period of Game 2 between the Boston Bruins and Florida Panthers on Wednesday night got the attention of the NHL offices.

TSN's Darren Dreger reported Friday, a few hours before Game 3 at TD Garden, that the league told both teams their Eastern Conference second-round series will be "heavily scrutinized."

Game 2 got out of hand around the midway point of the third period. Pat Maroon and Nick Cousins got into an altercation and were both given 10-minute misconducts. The action only escalated from there as the two teams combined to tally an astounding 136 penalty minutes during the period.

The craziest scene was Bruins forward David Pastrnak and Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk dropping their gloves for a fight at 12:42 of the period. If you made a list of players most likely to fight each other in this series, a Pastrnak-Tkachuk tussle probably would be at the bottom.

It sounds like the league doesn't want chaos to take over Game 3, but that might be tough to prevent because the Bruins fans in attendance are going to be fired up on a Friday night, and Boston likely will want to send a message and show they won't be pushed around. You can bet Pastrnak will receive a raucous ovation if he's in the starting lineup, or whenever he takes his first shift. Tkachuk, of course, will receive plenty of boos from the home crowd.

If the referees call these games tightly and a bunch of penalties are assessed, power plays would be a pivotal factor in the outcome of the series.

The Panthers scored once on six power-play opportunities in Game 2, and they're 1-for-9 in the series overall. The Bruins have failed on all five of their power-play chances in this series so far, and they haven't scored a goal with the man advantage since Game 4 of their first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Bruins-Panthers series is tied at one win apiece entering Game 3.