On Friday night, the Boston Bruins will play host to the Florida Panthers. The B’s, 19-2-1 in their last 22 games, are 0-1-0 this season against the South Florida Cats after a 2-0 loss at the TD Garden back on December 8. The Bruins will look to extend their nine point lead in the Northeast division and regain first place in the Eastern Conference from the Flyers, who took over first with a Wednesday night win in Dallas. The upstart Panthers currently hold an eight point lead over Alex Ovechkin’s struggling Washington Capitals in the Southeast division.
Tonight’s Line-Up (Subject To Change):
Scratches– ….. Peverley (Undisclosed–OUT), Caron (Healthy) ,Kampfer (Healthy)
NEWS & NOTES
– Tonight the Black and Gold will be without their versatile third line stalwart Rich Peverley, as he will be sidelined with what is still being referred to as an “undisclosed ailment”. As to the meaning of that? Your guess is as good as mine. What we do know is that with their next game not until December 28th in Phoenix, it’s likely that the team wanted to give no. 49 a full week off for rest to prepare for a very busy January schedule. Skating in his place will be former 2007 first round draft choice Zach Hamill. Coach Julien’s choosing of Hamill to play the right side with Pouliot and Kelly, as opposed to natural winger Jordan Caron does not exactly bode well for no. 38. It’s unknown whether this choice is an indictment on Caron’s recent play or simply a reward for the hard work being put in by Zach Hamill.
– The Panthers, playing in their third game in four nights, have lost their last two games, including a 4-3 overtime loss in Ottawa last night.
– Prior to the Panthers’ 2-0 victory at TD Garden back on December 8, the Cats hadn’t defeated the Bruins since April 1, 2010 when Keith Ballard notched the only goal of the night en route to a 1-0 Panthers’ win here in the Hub. Current back-up netminder Scott Clemmensen stonewalled the B’s that night, stopping all 36 Boston shots and recording a shutout.
– In net for the Panthers tonight will be noted Bruins killer Jose Theodore. Dating back to his time with Montreal and Washington, the B’s haven’t beaten Theodore in regulation in ten straight match-ups. At the other end of the ice will be the red-hot Vezina trophy winning Tim Thomas. The 37-year-old Flint, Michigan native has posted a 13-1 record in his last fourteen decisions.
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About the Author: Boston Bruins writer for Hockey Independent. Have written for The Hockey Guys and SB Nation Boston. Follow me on Twitter @_BWoodward or shoot me an email at BWoodward.HI@gmail.com.