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Florida Panthers Vs. Boston Bruins: Game 28 Preview

The Florida Panthers take their show on the road, facing the Boston Bruins in TD Garden in a battle of division leaders.

The Florida Panthers will be visiting the Boston Bruins at the TD Garden in Boston on Thursday night. It is the first of four meetings between the Eastern Conference rivals, and the first of two in Boston. Florida is 9-6-0 on the road,  while the Bruins bring a 10-5-1 home record into the game. Florida just finished up a one game home stand on Monday against the Washington Capitals, winning 5-4 despite allowing three consecutive goals near the end of the game. This will be the first game in a three game road trip for the Panthers, as they go on to visit the Buffalo Sabres on Friday and the New York Rangers on Sunday before returning home again. The Bruins are just coming back to the Garden after a two game road trip in which they went 1-1. They will be visiting the Blue Jackets in Columbus on Saturday night.

The teams last met in January at the Garden, with the Bruins handing the Panthers a 2-1 loss. Florida's loss brought the Panthers to 22-22-5 while the Bruins boasted a 28-15-7 record on their way to the Stanley Cup. Brad Marchand and Milan Lucic scored for the Bruins while Bryan Allen netted his fourth goal of the season for the Panthers with assists from Radek Dvorak and Darcy Hordichuk. Tim Thomas stopped 34 of 35 shots in beating the Panthers, with Tomas Vokoun keeping the Cats in the game, stopping 33 of 35 shots.

Panthers @ Bruins 1/26/11 (via NHLVideo)

In Florida's last game, the Panthers held off the Washington Capitals, 5-4 on Monday night. Scott Clemmensen got his third win of the season in as many starts, making 28 saves in 32 save opportunities. Stephen Weiss scored his 10th and 11th goals of the season while Sean Bergenheim, Mike Santorelli and Dmitry Kulikov each scored goals for the Panthers. The Cats went 3-6 on the power play.

Capitals @ Panthers 12/05/11 (via NHLVideo)

The Bruins lost to the Winnepeg Jets, 2-1 in Winnepeg. The loss was the first game in which Boston did not earn at least one point since Halloween, going 14-0-1. Shawn Thornton tallied the lone goal for the Bruins with assists from Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell. Backup goaltender stopped 33 of 35 shots in the loss.

Bruins @ Jets 12/06/11 (via NHLVideo)

Season Series: 0-0-0


All-Time Series: 30-27-10

Game Time: 7:00 EST


Florida Panthers: 15-8-4, 34 points, first SE Division, third Eastern Conference, sixth NHL, on pace for 103 points.

Southeast Standings

Florida 27 15 8 4 34
Winnipeg 27 12 11 4 28
Washington 26 13 12 1 27
Tampa Bay 27 11 14 2 24
Carolina 29 8 17 4 20

(updated 12.7.2011 at 6:43 AM PST)

Boston Bruins: 17-8-1, 35 points, first NE Division, second Eastern Conference, fifth NHL, on pace for 110 points.

Northeast Standings

Boston 26 17 8 1 35
Toronto 28 15 10 3 33
Buffalo 26 14 11 1 29
Ottawa 27 13 11 3 29
Montreal 28 11 11 6 28

(updated 12.7.2011 at 6:43 AM PST)



Forwards Matt Bradley, Scottie Upshall and Marcel Goc are all out. Forward Mikail Samuelsson is also listed as out, but may skate tonight against Boston. Forward Marc Cullen and Goalie Jose Theodore are listed as questionable. Florida has Evgeni Dadonov and Tim Kennedy on the active roster to combat injury issues. They also picked up forward Krys Barch in a trade with the Dallas Stars.

Probable Starters


Scott Clemmensen (3-0-0) may get another start as Theodore recuperates from the flu. Tim Thomas (13-4-0) will likely make the start for Boston.


1. Fleischmann - Weiss - Versteeg

2. Bergenheim - Matthias - Kopecky

3. Sturm - Santorelli - Skille

4. Barch - Kennedy - Samuelsson


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 will play in his 280th game as a Panther tonight, moving him past Terry Carkner into 21st place. His next goal will be his 32nd, which will move him into a tie for 32nd with Richard Zednik. His next assist will give him 58 with the Panthers, tying him with Paul Laus, in 30th.

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 21, moving him into a tie for 47th with Brett McLean.

Dmitry Kulikov will play in his 167th Panthers game tonight, placing him 46th on the all-time list, tied with Brad Ference. His next assist will give him 50 for his career, moving him into a tie for 38th with Niklas Hagman.  One more points for Kulikov will give him 62, tying him with Dave Gagner in 47th place.

Stephen Weiss is third all-time with 227 assists, two more move him into a tie for second with Robert Svehla.

Team Leaders:


Kris Versteeg, Tomas Fleischmann - 12

Stephen Weiss -11


Brian Campbell -21

Stephen Weiss - 18

Kris Versteeg, Dmitry Kulikov, Tomas Fleischmann - 16


Stephen Weiss - 29

Kris Versteeg, Tomas Fleischmann - 28


Tomas Fleischmann, Stephen Weiss - plus-15

Kris Versteeg  - plus-14

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.