The Florida Panthers have left the unfriendly confines of the BB&T Center and have taken to the road for the next three, starting out in Boston, where they will look to get back in the win column tonight at TD Garden against the Bruins at 7 pm. After that, the Panthers will visit the Ottawa Senators and New York Rangers before returning home for a match against '93 expansion sibling, the Anaheim Ducks on November 12th. The Cats have dropped their last six games, but have made it to extra time in four of those tilts, so they have been able to garner enough points to stay ahead of the Buffalo Sabres and Philadelphia Flyers, keeping them out of the NHL cellar.
The Panthers (3-8-4) will be looking for a bit of revenge against the B's, who bested them 3-2 in Sunrise on a last minute goal from Reilly Smith back on October 17th. From a fan standpoint for both sides, it's disappointing that Tim Thomas isn't quite healthy enough to see action in this one. Florida is hoping Thomas will be ready to start against either Ottawa or the Rangers this weekend.
The Bruins (8-5-1) haven't been exactly tearing it up lately, either. Boston is 1-3-1 in their last five, including Tuesday's 3-2 shootout loss at home to the Dallas Stars. Boston, currently fourth in the Atlantic Division, is still doing well enough to hold down a playoff spot in the early season standings.
Tuukka Rask is expected to start for the Bruins and it looks like veteran Scott Clemmensen will be in goal for the Panthers.
Florida will be on the road for eight of their next nine games, so it will be interesting to see what happens if the team doesn't improve somewhat over the course of the next two and half weeks. One would think some kind of shake up will occur if the team returns to Sunrise in the latter part of the month still hovering around or mired in the league's basement.
There is no official preview today, so feel free to keep it here until the LBC GameThread kicks off at 6:30. You can also check in with our wicked awesome friends over at Stanley Cup of Chowder for more on tonight's matchup.