Here’s your Boston Hockey Now Boston Bruins Game Day Preview:
Boston Bruins (49-25-5, 103 pts) vs Florida Panthers (57-16-6-120 pts)
TIME: 7:00 PM ET
TV: NESN+, BSFL
The Boston Bruins will host the Florida Panthers at TD Garden Tuesday.
The Bruins will try to prevent a postgame Presidential ball as the Panthers can clinch President’s Trophy if they defeat the Bruins in any fashion and the St. Louis Blues defeat the Colorado Avalanche in any fashion or If they get one point vs. Boston AND St. Louis defeats Colorado in regulation.
The Boston Bruins come in trying to extend their win streak to three games and stay at least three points ahead of the Washington Capitals for the top wild card slot in the Eastern Conference and within three points of the Tampa Bay Lightning for third place in the Atlantic Division. The Caps will host the New York Islanders Tuesday night and the Lightning host the Columbus Blue Jackets.
If the Boston Bruins lose and the Capitals win, the Caps pull within a point of the Bruins, and if the Bruins lose and the Lightning win, then the Lightning clinch third place in the Atlantic. The Bruins can only gain four more points after tonight with just two games left.
The Bruins will go back to goalie Linus Ullmark between the pipes Tuesday night. In his first start since leaving with an upper-body injury after the first period of a 3-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators on April 14, Ullmark was brilliant, making 30 saves in a 3-1 win over the New York Rangers Saturday at TD Garden. Ullmark is now 24-10-2 with a 2.52 GAA and .914 save percentage.
The Florida Panthers will look to Sergei Bobrovsky in their first attempt to clinch their first-ever President’s Trophy. Bobrovsky comes into this tilt with the Boston Bruins at 39-6-3 with a 2.66 GAA and .912 save percentage.
Betting: As my colleague for Florida Hockey Now pointed out in his game preview for tonight, the Florida Panthers just had a franchise-record 24-game win streak snapped in their 8-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday. Usually, when a team has a long win streak like that snapped, they tend to lose a few in a row after, but there is still a lot on the line for the Panthers here. With tonight likely the last game before a back-to-back Thursday (at Ottawa Senators) and Friday (at Montreal Canadiens), that head coach Andrew Brunette ices a playoff-like lineup, the Panthers will want to lock the top seed in the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs down ASAP.
So expect a playoff-like performance from the Cats in this one and a low-scoring affair as the Panthers will buckle down after allowing eight goals on Sunday. Panthers in Regulation (+115) and the UNDER 6.5 (+110) are the plays here.
Prediction: Panthers 3 Bruins 2
Boston Bruins Notes
-David Pastrnak and Hampus Lindholm will be back in the lineup after not traveling to Montreal for the 5-3 win over the Canadiens. In his first game back after a nine-game absence with an undisclosed injury, Pastrnak had a goal and an assist Saturday. Lindholm skated 24:41 and had three shots on net and one hit.
-Brad Marchand is mired in one of the worst goal-scoring slumps in recent memory with no goals in his last eleven games and five assists during that stretch. Marchand did look much better and involved in the win over the Habs Sunday and had two helpers to show for it so maybe he breaks through tonight?
-Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron finally awoke from a slump of his own Sunday, scoring two goal at the Bell Centre with his family on hand and on a night when fellow Quebec native Guy Lafleur was honored after passing away on Friday.
Florida Panthers Notes
-With Ryan Lomberg suspended for a game and Mason Marchment taking a maintenance day, Carter Verhaeghe and former Boston Bruins captain Joe Thornton will draw in.
-This will be the Panthers first visit to Boston since Oct. 30. The Bruins handed Florida its first loss of the season that night, winning 3-2 in a shootout.
Boston Bruins Lineup:
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron– Jake DeBrusk
Taylor Hall – Erik Haula – Tomáš Nosek/Marc McLaughlin
Trent Frederic – Charlie Coyle – Craig Smith
Nick Foligno – Tomáš Nosek/Marc McLaughlin – Curtis Lazar
Matt Grzelcyk – Charlie McAvoy
Mike Reilly – Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort – Connor Clifton
Florida Panthers Lineup:
Carter Verhaeghe – Sasha Barkov – Anthony Duclair
Jonathan Huberdeau – Sam Bennett – Anthony Duclair
Noel Accari – Anton Lundell – Sam Reinhart
Joe Thornton – Eetu Luostarinen – Patric Hornqvist
Ben Chiarot – MacKenzie Weegar
Gus Forsling – Brandon Montour
Robert Hagg – Radko Gudas