Boston Bruins at Florida Panthers - Preview and Live Game Thread
18-11-7 (43 Points) 16-16-7 (39 Points)
WELCOME TO THIS EVENING'S OPEN THREAD
Stanley Cup of Chowder * Bruins - Panthers GameDay Central * TSN Preview
Lots of info from the Sun-Sentinel following yesterday's practice; here's the condensed version: Nick Tarnasky's season debut will come tonight, but don't expect him to be instigating much: he's wearing a face shield. Shawn Matthias is back from Rochester yet again, this time covering for a flued-up Rostislav Olesz. Ville Koistinen? Done for the year with surgery on his right knee. Call it four weeks on the shelf for first-year D-man Dmitry Kulikov. Kamil Kreps returns tonight. Defenseman Derek Morris will make his first appearance for the Broons since December 18th.
This is a mucho-important game for the Panthers for a wide variety of reasons, but foremost in that a loss will be difficult to recover pointwise; their next match is New Years Eve, allowing for plenty of upward movement by conference rivals in the days leading up. Which always seems to be the situation, eh?
Last week the Cats made quick work of one-half of the upcoming Winter Classic lineup; can they foil the - admittedly far better - opposite end as well? The Bruins have won two in a row, going 5-3-2 in their past ten. The clubs last saw each other on November 12th in Beantown, with Florida gaining the 1-0 (SO) victory behind Tomas Vokoun's 40 saves and Cory Stillman's winner.
Vokoun, BTW, has shutout Boston in consecutive games going back to February.
Also: Jacob Markstrom "failed" to make the Swedish Olympic roster, finding himself behind Henrik Lundqvist (all-world), Jonas Gustavsson (all-Maple Leaf), and Stefan Liv (dual-golds at the 2006 Olympics and IIHF World Championships) on the depth chart. Them's the shakes.
Please check out our buds at Stanley Cup of Chowder for a hub-centric view on this evening's Big Event.
Thanks as always for making the trek. Go Cats.