Event: Boston Bruins vs. Florida Panthers
Date/Time: Thursday, December 8, 2011 - 7 p.m. EDT.
Location: TD Garden (Capacity: 17,565), Boston, MA.
Broadcast Info: Thursday's game between the Bruins and the Panthers will be broadcast live on NESN. The game can also be heard on the 98.5 the Sports Hub Radio Network, with Dave Goucher providing play-by-play, and Bob Beers providing analysis.
Last Time Out: The B’s faced their first regulation loss since October 29, and dropped a 2-1 decision to the Winnipeg Jets. Shawn Thornton had the lone goal in that game for the Bruins-his third of the year- but it wasn’t enough to continue the 15-game point streak they had going.
Tuukka Rask recorded the loss and is now 4-4-1 this season with a .927 save percentage and a 2.09 GAA.
Tyler Seguin did not play in Tuesday’s game because he missed the team meeting earlier in the day and was scratched because of it. However, coach Claude Julien did say he would be in the lineup tonight.
The Panthers are coming off two strong wins-the most recent one a 5-4 victory against the Washington Capitals on Monday. Stephen Weiss netted two goals for the Panthers while goaltender Scott Clemmensen made 28 saves.
Storyline: There are quite a few familiar faces for both teams heading into tonight’s matchup between the number two and number three teams in the conference.
Marco Sturm will be returning to TD Garden for the first time since he was traded away from the Bruins, and it’s also a reunion for Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell who were both drafted, and played for the Florida Panthers until last year. Both were drafted in the early 2000s, and played for Florida their whole careers. Boston traded Dennis Wideman and some draft picks to pick up Horton and Campbell from Florida and the rest is history.
This game will determine second place in the Eastern Conference as both teams are separated by just one point. A regulation win would put the Panthers in second, and give the Bruins two straight losses.
Players To Watch: Last time Seguin was benched, he came out and was on fire. He sat in the press box for a couple of games in the playoffs, but came out against Tampa Bay and lit up the goal lamp. Keep an eye on him to see how he dealt with with bad press.
Tim Thomas will be in net again for the Bruins tonight. Thomas has a 10-0-0 streak going right now a .940 save percentage--second best in the league.
Jose Theodore will be in net for the Panthers.
Prediction: The team seemed to be in good spirits today, and I think being back at home will do them some good after falling to the Jets. I’d expect them to come out and have a big game tonight. Final Score: Bruins 5, Panthers 2.