Preview: Panthers @ Bruins, 3/24/16

Game #74
Florida Panthers (40-24-9 / 89 PTS) @ Boston Bruins (39-26-8 / 86 PTS)
Thursday, March 24th, 2016 – 7:00PM EST
TD Garden – Boston, MA

Between the Lines

The Panthers will face the Bruins on Thursday in a big divisional matchup as the two teams are separated by just 3 points inside the top 3 spots. Florida lost on Monday to the Rangers as a result of an incomplete effort, although they did get two late goals to from Vincent Trocheck and Jiri Hudler, but it wouldn’t be enough to overcome New York’s 4 goals. Al Montoya started in net on Monday, but Roberto Luongo is expected to start on Thursday.

The Panthers will still be without the services of Erik Gudbranson, Derek MacKenzie, and Willie Mitchell. Gudbranson isn’t expected to be back until around the final game or two of the season while MacKenzie could be in a similar boat as they’re both nursing nearly identical foot injuries. Willie Mitchell could be back as soon as Saturday’s game against the Lightning, but the upcoming home stand starting next Tuesday seems more likely.

Boston is coming off a 5-2 loss to the Rangers on Wednesday night and will face the Panthers in the 2nd game of a back-to-back as well as a short trip from New York to Massachusetts. Tuukka Rask was pulled after the 1st period and was replaced by Jonas Gustavsson, so Rask is likely to start against the Panthers on Thursday. Lee Stempniak and Frank Vatrano each scored a goal in the 2nd and 3rd period respectively despite a total of 38 shots on goal

The Panthers and Bruins last met on March 7th in Florida when Boston won 5-4 in overtime. The Panthers got a goal each from Alesksander Barkov and Jussi Jokinen and 2 goals from Jiri Hudler.

Projected Line Combinations

Florida_Panthers.svg
11 Huberdeau – 16 Barkov – 68 Jagr L1 63 Marchand – 37 Bergeron – 20 Stempniak
36 Jokinen – 21 Trocheck – 18 Smith L2 21 Eriksson – 46 Krejci – 88 Pastrnak
26 Purcell – 27 Bjugstad – 24 Hudler L3 39 Beleskey – 51 Spooner– 11 Hayes
28 Wilson – 41 McKegg – 22 Thornton L4 29 Ferraro – 55 Acciari – 64 Randell
Kulikov – 5 Ekblad D1 33 Chara – 86 Miller
51 Campbell – 6 Petrovic D2 26 Liles – 44 Seidenberg
46 Kindl – 3 Kampfer D3 47 Krug – 64 McQuaid
1 Luongo – 35 Montoya G 40 Rask – 50 Gustavsson
Shaw, Howden, MacKenzie, Gudbranson X Vatrano, Smith
Mitchell, Bolland INJ Kelly

Top 5 Scorers

Florida Panthers

Player Goals Assists Points
1. Jaromir Jagr 24 31 55
2. Jussi Jokinen 15 39 54
3. Vincent Trocheck 23 27 50
4. Jonathan Huberdeau 13 35 48
5. A. Barkov & R. Smith 23 23 46

Boston Bruins

Player Goals Assists Points
1. Patrice Bergeron 28 34 62
2. Brad Marchand 34 21 55
3. Louis Eriksson 27 28 55
4. David Krejci 15 39 54
5. Lee Stempniak 18 30 41

Expected Starting Goaltenders

Florida Panthers

Name Record Save % GAA
Roberto Luongo 30-18-6 .921 2.37

Boston Bruins

Name Record Save % GAA
Tuukka Rask 28-20-7 .918 2.51
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