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Boston Bruins Visit Florida Panthers: Game 44 Preview

The Panthers look to avenge an embarrassing eight goal shutout loss suffered last month to Boston. Can Florida get back on the winning track against what looks to be a suddenly beatable Boston Bruins squad tonight in Sunrise?

Florida will be hosting the Boston Bruins tonight at the Bank Atlantic Centre in Sunrise. This is the third meeting of four this season between the Eastern Conference rivals. Florida is 11-5-5 at home, while Boston owns a 12-5-0 road record. For Florida, this is the final game of a difficult three game homestand. They beat the Vancouver Canucks, 2-1 on Monday night before losing, 4-1 to the Vancouver Canucks on Friday. Boston is in the second game of a four game road trip. They lost, 4-2 to the bottom dwelling Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday and go on to play the Tampa Bay Lightning tomorrow night and the New Jersey Devils on Thursday.

The teams last met on December 23rd, as Boston demolished the Panthers, 8-0. Brad Marchand netted a hat trick and five points overall to lead the Bruins. Tukka Rask stopped all 30 shots in shutting out the outclassed Panthers. Both Jose Theodore and Scott Clemmensen were beat four times in the loss.

Panthers @ Bruins 12/23/11 (via NHLVideo)

In Florida's last game, the Panthers lost, 4-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday. Tyler Kennedy, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal and Steve Sullivan scored goals for the Pens. Michel Repik scored his second of the season for the Cats, with assists by Krys Barch and Jason Garrison. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 25 of 26 shots in the victory. Scott Clemmensen allowed four goals on 41 shots in the loss.

Penguins @ Panthers 01/13/12 (via NHLVideo)

The Bruins dropped a 4-2 game to the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night. Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron scored for Boston in the loss. Tim Thomas allowed three goals on 20 shots.

Bruins @ Hurricanes 01/14/12 (via NHLVideo)

Season Series: 1-1-0

All-Time Series: 31-28-10

Game Time: 7:30 EST



Florida Panthers: 21-14-8, 50 points, first Southeast Division, third Eastern Conference, 14th NHL, on pace for 95 points.

Boston Bruins: 28-12-1, 57 points, first Northeast Division, second Eastern Conference, fifth NHL, on pace for 114 points.


Florida Panthers Injuries

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Sean Bergenheim other-excused 12/19/2011
Jose Theodore knee 01/01/2012
Marco Sturm head 12/21/2011
Scottie Upshall other-excused 11/11/2011
Jack Skille shoulder 12/17/2011

Boston Bruins Injuries

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

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

Starting Lineups:

Goalies: Jose Theodore (14-8-4) may be available for tonight's matchup. Scott Clemmensen (5-2-3) is the probable starter, with Brian Foster set to back him up.


1. Fleischmann - Weiss - Versteeg

2. Kopecky - Madden- Samuelsson

3. Repik - Matthias - Goc

4. Bradley - Santorelli - Barch


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:

Goals: Ed Jovanovski's next goal will be his 32nd, which will move him into a tie for 32nd with Richard Zednik. Mike Santorelli's next goal will be number 26 as a Panther, moving him past Mike Van Ryn into 44th place all-time.

Assists: Stephen Weiss is tied with Olli Jokinen with 231 all-time assists for the Florida Panther's record. Ed Jovanovski's next assist will give him 61 with the Panthers, passing Dave Lowry into 28th. Dmitry Kulikov's next assist will give him 51 for his career, moving him past Niklas Hagman into 38th place.

Points: One more point for Kulikov will give him 64, moving him into a tie with Joe Nieuwendyk in 46th place.

Team Leaders:


Kris Versteeg - 17

Tomas Fleischmann - 15

Jason Garrison, Stephen Weiss - 11


Brian Campbell - 30

Stephen Weiss, Kris Versteeg - 22

Tomas Fleischmann - 19


Kris Versteeg - 39

Tomas Fleischmann - 34

Stephen Weiss, Brian Campbell - 33


Stephen Weiss - plus-11

Kris Versteeg - plus-nine

Jason Garrison - plus-five

Tomas Fleischmann - plus-two

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