Boston Bruins Visit Florida Panthers: Game 70 Preview

The Panthers host the Boston Bruins tonight at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise. This is the fourth and final meeting this season between the Eastern Conference foes. Florida has gone 1-1-1 against Boston, winning 2-0 and losing 8-0 at Boston in December, while losing a shootout 3-2 at home in January. Right now, they're playing in the third game of an important four game homestand. They shut out the Carolina Hurricanes, 2-0 on Sunday and defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs, 5-2 on Tuesday. They finish up on Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres.

Videos and more after the jump.

The Bruins will be finishing out a three game roadtrip. They lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins, 5-2 on Sunday and the Tampa Bay Lightning, 6-1 on Tuesday. They return home to face the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. Florida is 18-9-8 at home, while the Bruins carry a 20-13-1 road record into Sunrise.

The last meeting between the two happened on January 16th. Patrice Bergeron (13) lit the lamp at the 1:20 mark of the first to open the scoring, and Patrice Bergeron (14) added a power play goal in the second. For the Panthers, Jason Garrison (12) and Shawn Matthias (8) scored. Tukka Rask (38-of-40) and Scott Clemmensen (33-of-35) would send the game all the way to the shootout before David Krejci ended it in the fourth round. Rask had faced four breakaway's through the course of the game, preparing him for the skills competition at the end,

"I can't remember the last breakaway I had, actually," Rask said. "I guess it's a better thing to take them all at once than every now and then. Today they had four, which is really uncharacteristic for us. It's a good thing we got a win."

Bruins @ Panthers 01/16/12 (via NHLVideo)

In Florida's last game, Jose Theodore stopped 26-of-28 shots to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs, 5-2. Sean Bergenheim (15, 16) tied then later surpassed his previous career high in goals scored. Marcel Goc (9) and Tomas Kopecky (7) each connected on the power play, and Jason Garrison (15) tied a Panther record for defensemen goal scoring. For the Leafs, Tyler Bozak (15) and Mikhail Grabovski (22) provided the offense. The Panthers continued to dominate opposing goaltender James Reimer, who allowed four goals on 26 shots. Panther's coach Kevin Dineen spoke about the Panthers tendency to "wake up" against Toronto,

"I can't explain against the Leafs what the difference is," Florida coach Kevin Dineen said. "Sometimes during the course of the season you find a way to get a team's number. Very fortunate for us this has been one of those teams. There’s other teams … we beat the Rangers early and then they spanked us three in a row. The thing flip-flops a little bit, but it's nice being on the good side of those, that’s for sure."

Maple Leafs @ Panthers 03/13/12 (via NHLVideo)

For more, check out Pension Plan Puppets.

New goaltender Marty Turco surrendered four goals on 12 shots in the first period, as the Bruins were dominated by the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday. Tampa Bay totalled six goals on only 17 shots in their 6-1 defeat of Boston. Jordan Caron (7) scored the only goal for Boston. For the Lightning, Tom Pyatt (8), Nate Thompson (9), Ryan Shannon (4), Victor Hedman (4), and Steven Stamkos (49, 50) provided the fireworks. Rookie goaltender Dustin Tokarski stopped 33-of-34 Boston shots in victory. Stamkos spoke afterwards about scoring 50 goals for the second time,

"Getting 50 goals is something special," Stamkos said. "It's a magic number in hockey, and it's so special to do it in front of your home fans with a big win. That makes the memory last even longer and better. It's a great feeling and something that no one can ever take away from me."

Bruins @ Lightning 03/13/12 (via NHLVideo)


Top Corsi Panthers: (last five games)

Mikael Samuelsson - .508
Erik Gudbranson - .506
Sean Bergenheim - .496
Jason Garrison - .492
Marcel Goc - .489


Common Thread:

Bruins center Nathan Horton played 422 games over six seasons for the Panthers, scoring 142 goals and 153 assists with a plus-27 rating and 382 penalty minutes.

Bruins left winger Gregory Campbell played 363 games over six seasons for Florida, scoring 29 goals and 56 assists with a minus-39 rating and 312 penalty minutes.

Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg played in 62 games in the 2009-10 season for Florida, scoring two goals and 21 assists with a minus-three rating and 33 penalty minutes.

Panthers winger Marco Sturm played in 302 games over five seasons for the Bruins. He scored 106 goals and 87 assists with a plus-24 and 156 penalty minutes.

Panthers Milestones:

Jason Garrison, Kris Versteeg and Tomas Fleischmann are tied in 48th all-time with 22 goals each. Dave Gagner is in 47th with 24. Shawn Matthias is tied in 45th with Mike Van Ryn, with 25 goals. Mike Santorelli is tied with Gregory Campbell in 39th with 29 goals. Ed Jovanovski, with 31, is tied with Martin Gelinas, in 34th. Stephen Weiss needs two more to reach 142, tying him in fourth with Nathan Horton.

If Brian Campbell collects an assist, it will be his 41st with Florida, moving him past Terry Carkner into 49th.

Team Leaders:

Games Played:
Tomas Fleischmann, Mike Weaver, Brian Campbell - 69

Kris Versteeg, Tomas Fleischmann - 22
Sean Bergenheim, Stephen Weiss - 16

Brian Campbell - 40
Stephen Weiss - 32
Kris Versteeg, Tomas Fleischmann - 27

Kris Versteeg, Tomas Fleischmann - 49
Stephen Weiss - 48

Jason Garrison - plus-6
Marcel Goc, Stephen Weiss - plus-5

Point Shares:
Jose Theodore - 8.5
Jason Garrison - 7.2
Brian Campbell - 7.0

Florida Panthers:Standings:


Jack Skille and Matt Bradley are probably out for the rest of the season. Kris Versteeg, Scottie Upshall and Dmitry Kulikov are all skating with the club, and should each return soon.

Starting Lineup:


14 - 9 - 8

20 - 57 - 26

82 - 18 - 16

21 - 10 - 25


52 - 51

4 - 43

55 - 44


Jose Theodore gets the start tonight.

Boston Bruins:


Boston Bruins Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Benoit Pouliot other-excused 03/15/2012
Patrice Bergeron other-excused 03/15/2012


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Adam McQuaid other-excused 03/15/2012

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Marc Savard concussion 09/19/2011

Also out: forwards Nathan Horton, Rich Peverley

Starting Lineup:


Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Jordan Caron

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Tyler Seguin

Daniel Paille - Chris Kelly - Brian Rolston

Trent Whitfield - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton


Dennis Seidenberg - Zdeno Chara

Andrew Ference - Johnny Boychuk

Greg Zanon - Joe Corvo


With Tuukka Rask on the shelf, and Marty Turco having his doors blown off by the Bolts on Tuesday, Tim Thomas gets the nod tonight.


Florida Panthers: 33-23-13, 79 points, first Southeast Division, third Eastern Conference, 15th NHL, on pace for 94 points. Last five: W-L-O-W-W. Playoff odds: 88.7%

Boston Bruins: 40-26-3, 83 points, first Northeast Division, second Eastern Conference, 10th NHL, on pace for 99 points. Last five: W-W-L-L-L. Playoff odds: 99.99%


Game Time: 7:30 PM ET

Season Series: 1-1-1

All-Time Series: 31-28-11

For the Bruins take, check out Stanley Cup of Chowder. For a more neutral take, check out the preview on TSN.