Here’s your Boston Hockey Now Boston Bruins Game Day Preview:
Boston Bruins (24-4-2, 50 pts) vs Florida Panthers (15-13-4, 34 pts)
TIME: 7 P.M. ET
TV: NESN, Bally Sports
Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub
Boston Bruins Notes
-Boston Bruins right winger Craig Smith cleared through waivers on Monday afternoon but is still expected to be in the lineup on Monday night vs. the Florida Panthers. Smith had what Jim Montgomery termed “one of his best games of the season” on Saturday with three shots on net and three takeaways in less than nine minutes of ice time in the win over the Blue Jackets. Smith is expected to play right wing on the fourth line with Nick Foligno and Tomas Nosek.
-The Boston Bruins have switched out Hampus Lindholm and Charlie McAvoy on their power play units with Lindholm not quarterbacking the top unit, and McAvoy running point on the second PP unit in the win over the Blue Jackets.
“We just thought that the power play had gotten a little stale the last three or four games,” said Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery. “Sometimes, you can do one of two things – you can put players in different spots on the same unit to kind of give the creative side of the brain going or you can switch a player. All of a sudden, everyone gets…I don’t know if excitement is the right word, but you get the creative juice flowing. And that’s all it was. It wasn’t because we think Lindholm’s better on the first unit or Charlie’s better on the second unit. It was just to give all five players on both units different blood.”
Florida Panthers Notes:
-The Panthers had a big 4-2 win over the New Jersey Devils last weekend and sit three points behind the NY Islanders for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
-Hard-hitting Radko Gudas is a game time decision for the Florida Panthers. In the good news department, Colin White and Spencer Knight will be returning to the lineup for the Panthers against Boston.
-The Panthers will continue to be without star center Alex Barkov among other players as they travel to Boston on Monday night. Eetu Luostorainen will take over top line center duties as a replacement for the banged-up Barkov, who is day-to-day with a lower body injury.
-The Panthers traded defenseman Michael Del Zotto to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for bruising forward Givani Smith, who will no doubt bring some toughness to the Panthers forward group. Del Zotto was subsequently traded to the Anaheim Ducks in a second transaction, but for the Panthers it’s about the acquisition of Smith, who has seven goals and 14 points along with 138 penalty minutes in 85 games for the Red Wings over the last four seasons.
Boston Bruins Lineup:
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jake DeBrusk
Pavel Zacha-David Krejci-David Pastrnak
Taylor Hall-Charlie Coyle-Trent Frederic
Nick Foligno-Tomas Nosek-Craig Smith
Hampus Lindholm-Charlie McAvoy
Matt Grzelcyk-Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort-Connor Clifton
Florida Panthers Lineup:
Carter Verhaege-Eetu Luostarinen-Sam Reinhart
Matthew Tkachuk-Sam Bennett-Colin White
Ryan Lomberg-Eric Staal-Nick Cousins
Aleksi Heponiemi-Zac Dalpe-Grigori Denisenko
Gus Forsling-Aaron Ekblad
Marc Staal-Brandon Montour
Josh Mahura-Radko Gudas