Florida Panthers Visit Boston Bruins: Game 36 Preview

Fresh off of an overtime loss last night in Ottawa, do the Panthers have any gas left in the tank tonight for a well rested Bruin team at TD Garden?

Florida will be visitng the Boston Bruins at TD Garden tonight in Boston. This is the second of four meetings between the respective Eastern Conference division leaders (and future "Conference 3") rivals. This will be the second time they have met in Boston, with two meetings in Florida coming up later in the season. Florida is 10-7-2 away from the Bank Atlantic Center this season, while the Bruins are12-6 -1 at home. Florida will be playing in the second game of a short pre-Christmas road trip. They began the trip by posting a 4-3 overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators last night. The Bruins are well rested after beating the Montreal Canadians 3-2 on Monday and spending the rest of the week game free at home in Boston. They will hit the road for three games after the holiday break.

The last time the two teams met was December 8th in Boston. The Panthers shut out the Bruins, 2-0 on a 40 save masterpiece by Jose Theodore and a clutchtime goal by Tomas Kopecky with less than three minutes remaining in the third period. Kris Versteeg added an empty netter for the final margin of victory. The night finished with the Panthers at 16-8-4 and the Bruins at 17-9-1.

Panthers @ Bruins 12/08/11 (via NHLVideo)

In Florida's last game, the Panthers escaped Ottawa with a point after skating from 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2 deficits with timely power play goals by Michal Repik and Shawn Matthias. Tomas Kopecky sent the game to overtime with his fifth goal of the season with one minute remaining in regulation. Scott Clemmensen stopped 22 of 26 shots for the Panthers. The overtime loss set his record this season at 3-0-2.

VIDEO

The Bruins are coming off a 3-2 victory against the Montreal Canadians at the TD Garden on Monday night. Benoit Pouliot, David Krejci and Brad Marchand scored for the Bruins and Tim Thomas stopped 33 of 35 shots in the victory.

Bruins @ Canadiens 11/21/11 (via NHLVideo)



Season Series: 1-0-0
All-Time Series: 31-27-10
Game Time: 7:00 EST


Standings

Florida Panthers: 18-10-7, 43 points, first Southeast Division, third Eastern Conference, eighth NHL, on pace for 101 points.

Boston Bruins, 22-9-1, 45 points, first Northeast Division, second Eastern Conference, third NHL, on pace for 115 points.

Injuries:

Florida Panthers Injuries

Questionable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Sean Bergenheim other-excused 12/21/2011
Marco Sturm leg 12/21/2011
Mikael Samuelsson other-excused 12/21/2011

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Marcel Goc concussion 11/17/2011
Scottie Upshall other-excused 11/11/2011
Jack Skille shoulder 12/17/2011

Boston Bruins Injuries

Probable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Milan Lucic other-excused 12/20/2011

Questionable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Andrew Ference other-excused 12/21/2011

Doubtful

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Rich Peverley undisclosed 12/21/2011

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

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


Goaltenders:

With Scott Clemmensen (3-0-2) taking the first half of a back-to-back last night in Ottawa, Jose Theodore (13-7-4) gets the start for the Panthers tonight. A well rested Tim Thomas (16-5-0) should get the start for the Bruins tonight.

Forwards: Due to injury, half of Florida's forwards are unable to perform in tonight's matchup. The Panthers have the equivalent of two full AHL lines in the starting lineup.

1.  Weiss - Fleischmann- Versteeg

2. Kopecky- Matthias - Dadonov

3. Repik - Santorelli - Bradley

4. Barch - Kennedy - Thomas

Defense:

1. Campbell - Garrison

2. Jovanovski - Gudbranson

3. Kulikov - Weaver

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.


Team Milestones:

Ed Jovanovski's next goal will be his 32nd, which will move him into a tie for 32nd with Richard Zednik. His next assist will give him 60 with the Panthers, tying him with Dave Lowry, in 28th.

Mike Santorelli's next goal will be number 25 as a Panther, moving him into a tie with Mike Van Ryn in 44th place all-time. 

Shawn Matthias' next goal will give him 22, moving him past Brett McLean into 47th.

Dmitry Kulikov will play in his 175th game tonight, moving him past Branislav Mezei into 45th all-time. His next assist will give him 51 for his career, moving him past Niklas Hagman into 38th place.  One more point for Kulikov will give him 63, moving him past Dave Gagner into 47th place.

Stephen Weiss is second all-time with 230 assists, one less than Olli Jokinen.


Team Leaders:

Goals:

Kris Versteeg - 16

Tomas Fleischmann - 12

Stephen Weiss -11

Jason Garrison - 10

Assists:

Brian Campbell -24

Kris Versteeg, Stephen Weiss - 21

 

Tomas Fleischmann - 19

Points:

Kris Versteeg - 37

Stephen Weiss -32

Tomas Fleischmann - 31

Brian Campbell - 27

Plus/Minus:

Stephen Weiss, Kris Versteeg - plus-18

Tomas Fleischmann - plus-15

Jason Garrison - plus-9

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