The Boston Bruins will try to go 1-o-1 on their two-game Dad trip through the Sunshine State when they play the Florida Panthers for the second time this season.
That won’t be easy, though. Since the Bruins beat the Panthers 3-2 in overtime back on Oct. 30, the Florida Panthers have gone 8-2-0 and climbed into the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference races. In the process, they also got their top two defensemen, Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour, back in the lineup and seemed poised to defend the Eastern Conference title.
According to Jim Montgomery, the Panthers currently pose the biggest threat to his team’s amazing season thus far.
“They’re the best team we’ve played so far,” Montgomery said bluntly when asked to give a scouting report on the team that eliminated the Bruins from the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs in one of the biggest postseason upsets in NHL history.
This is also the first time the Panthers and Bruins have played since Charlie McAvoy laid a headshot on Panthers defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and was subsequently suspended for four games. Will McAvoy have a target on his back?
The Panthers will be without captain and top center Sasha Barkov, but this game should still have a playoff feel to it, so don’t miss it!
With that said, here’s your Boston Hockey Now Bruins Game Day Preview:
Boston Bruins (13-1-3, 29 pts) @ Florida Panthers (12-5-1, 25 pts)
TIME: 7:05 p.m. ET
TV: MAX, TNT, TVAS
Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub
Money Line: Bruins (-115), Panthers (-105)
Puck Line: Bruins -1.5 (+210), Panthers +1.5 (-258)
Over/Under: Over 6 (-115), Under 6 (-105)
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Bost0n Bruins Notes
-The Bruins are accompanied by their fathers on this two-game jaunt through the Sunshine State that concludes tonight.
-The Bruins did not have a morning skate on Wednesday. Montgomery is scheduled to address the media at the rink at 5:40 p.m. ET.
–David Pastrnak leads the Bruins in goals (12), assists (17), and points with 29 in 17 games.
-The Bruins are still missing Matt Grzelcyk (upper-body) and forwards Morgan Geekie (upper-body) and Milan Lucic (lower-body, leave of absence).
-The Boston Bruins may have lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-4 in overtime, but they’re not in that game if not for Jeremy Swayman (41 saves) and the penalty kill. The Bruins killed off five of six Lightning powerplays and enter tonight’s game with the best penalty kill in the NHL, killing off opposing powerplays at a 90.8-percent clip.
-The Bruins had scored a powerplay goal in six straight games before Monday night, but they went 0-for-2 and are now 8-for-25 on the season.
Boston Bruins Lineup
Brad Marchand-Pavel Zacha-David Pastrnak
James van Riemsdyk-Charlie Coyle-Trent Frederic
Danton Heinen-Matt Poitras-Jake DeBrusk
Jakub Lauko-John Beecher-Patrick Brown
Mason Lohrei-Charlie McAvoy
Hampus Lindholm-Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort-Kevin Shattenkirk
Florida Panthers Lineup
Carter Verhaeghe-Anton Lundell-Sam Reinhart
Evan Rodrigues-Sam Bennett-Matthew Tkachuk
Eetu Luostarinen-Kevin Stenlund-Nick Cousins
Ryan Lomberg-Steve Lorentz-Jonah Gadjovich
Gustav Forsling-Aaron Ekblad
Niko Mikkola-Brandon Montour
Oliver Ekman-Larsson-Dmitry Kulikov