The Panthers host the Boston Bruins this evening at the BB&T Center in the first of five matchups. They meet three times in Boston, on November 7th, January 28th, and March 4th before a return engagement in Sunrise on March 9th. In Florida's most recent action, they lost a heartbreaker on the road versus the Nashville Predators, 4-3 on Tuesday. After tonight, they'll remain at home to host the Minnesota Wild on Saturday, the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday, the Buffalo Sabres on October 25th, the Tampa Bay Lightning on the 27th, and the St. Louis Blues on November 1st.
The Bruins defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets on the road, 3-1 before returning to Boston for a 3-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on a rare Monday afternoon game earlier this week. They'll stay on the road to face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday and the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday.
A Look Back
In the last Boston/Florida throwdown, the visiting 13-25-6 Panthers were looking to avoid a sixth straight loss to the 26-12-5 Boston club on April 21st, near the end of last season. That's not what happened, though, as the Cats put 28 shots on Bruins netminder Tukka Rask, but didn't get any through. Jacob Markstrom stopped 36-of-38 in the loss, as Jaromir Jagr (since departed), Dougie Hamilton, and Brad Marchand lit the lamp for Boston.
By getting the start in net on back-to-back days for the first time all season Sunday, Tuukka Rask was given an opportunity to make amends for what he felt was a loss he was responsible for Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Rask bounced back with a 28-save shutout that made sure the output from Boston Bruins' struggling offense was just enough to snap a four-game winless streak (0-3-1) in a 3-0 victory against the Florida Panthers at TD Garden. * Full Recap * Box Score
GameTime: 7:30 PM ET, FS-FLA, WQAM, LBC GameThread at 7:00
All-Time Record: This is the 75th meeting between Florida and Boston. Florida is 32-31-6-5, a 50.7% success rate.
Season Series: First of five meetings
Florida Panthers 2-5-0, .285, 4 points, on pace for 47 points. Seventh in the Atlantic Division, tied for 10th in the Eastern Conference, tied for 22nd in the NHL. Last five: L-L-W-L-L.
Boston Bruins 3-2 -0, .600, 6 points, on pace for 98 points. Tied for fifth in the Atlantic Division, tied for seventh in the Eastern Conference, tied for 17th in the NHL. Last five: W-W-L-W-L.
Bruins winger Gregory Campbell played six seasons with the Panthers, scoring 29 goals and 56 assists in 363 games, with a minus-39 rating and 312 penalty minutes.
Boston defenseman Dennis Seidenberg played 62 games for the Panthers in 2009-10, scoring two goals and 21 assists with a minus-3 rating and 33 PIM.
Tim Thomas is fourth on Boston's all time goaltending wins list, with a 196-121-45 overall record, a .921 save percentage, and a 2.48 GAA.
D Mike Weaver plays in his 199th game tonight, moving him into a tie for 41th with Bryan McCabe and Jozef Stumpel.
Matthias has 44 assists, tied with Jody Hull, Chris Gratton, and Ivan Novoseltsev in 46th. Fleischmann currently sits at 63 with the Panthers, placing him in 31st, one behind Dmitry Kulikov. Kulikov's next assist will be his 65th, moving him into a tie at 29th with captain Ed Jovanovski. Brian Campbell currently has 72 assists, is tied for 21st place with Stu Barnes, and will move into the top 20 all-time with two more, tying Johan Garpenlov.
Probable Starting Lineups
- Tomas Fleischmann - Aleksander Barkov - Brad Boyes
- Jonathan Huberdeau - Scott Gomez - Kris Versteeg
- Tomas Kopecky - Nick Bjugstad - Krys Barch
- Jesse Winchester - Marcel Goc - Shawn Matthias
- Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Jarome Iginla
- Reilly Smith - Patrice Bergeron - Loui Eriksson
- Brad Marchand - Chris Kelly - Jordan Caron
- Daniel Paile - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton
- Tukka Rask - Chad Johnson
Brad Boyes - 4, Marcel Goc, Jonathan Huberdeau -3
Tomas Fleischmann - 6, Brian Campbell - 4, Aleksander Barkov, Scott Gomez - 3
Tomas Fleischmann - 6, Brad Boyes - 5, Aleksander Barkov - 4
Marcel Goc - 50.4%, Aleksander Barkov - 45.9%, Jesse Winchester - 44.8%
Shots on Goal
Tomas Fleischmann - 22, Brad Boyes, Kris Versteeg - 19
Erik Gudbranson - 30, Dmitry Kulikov - 19, Jesse Winchester - 14
Mike Weaver - 21, Erik Gudbranson - 16, Dmitry Kulikov - 10
Mike Weaver - 18, Erik Gudbranson - 17, Brian Campbell - 11
Check out Stanley Cup of Chowder for a New England take on the Bruins, and keep it dialed in to LBC for the GameThread, tonight at 7:00 sharp.