Preview: Boston Bruins Take On The Struggling Florida Panthers


Feb 24, 2013; Sunrise, FL, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara (33) upends Florida Panthers right wing Jack Skille (12) during the first period at the BB

The Boston Bruins will take on the Florida Panthers on Thursday night at TD Garden in Boston at 7:00 p.m. After an ugly loss on Tuesday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Bruins will look to bounce back in a big way. The Bruins are still trying to grab the top spot in the Northeast division away from Montreal. They are second in the division with 37 points and the Panthers are last in their division with only 20 points.

As the season continues to go on, so do the Panthers struggles. They have lost seven of their last eight games and have the worst goal differential in the NHL (-35). They are also last in goals against (3.7) and last in penalty kill percentage (72.4%). As the Bruins have found out this season, nothing can be taken for granted. The Bruins cannot let the record of the Panthers mislead them. They will want to come out firing to try and make up for the ugly loss the other night.

Playing a full sixty minutes has been a problem for the Bruins this season, which is uncharacteristic of them based on last season. This season alone, they blew a three-goal lead against Washington and a two-goal lead against the Penguins. When going up by two goals the Bruins were virtually unbeatable last season, but this year has been a completely different story. If there is one thing wrong with this Bruins team so far this season, I think of their inability to play a full sixty minutes. Coach Claude Julien will need to work on this as they go forward in the season and eventually into the playoffs.

The Bruins were told of bad news today and that was that forward Chris Kelly has been ruled out indefinitely after he broke his left tibia. It is a shame to see him go out with an injury as he was just starting to find his stride. Veteran forward Jay Pandolfo will replace Kelly in the lineup until he is ready to come back. I believe there is a high chance that Tuukka Rask will be in net as he rested on Tuesday night.

With a shortened season, every point counts, and the Bruins can’t let games like this slip away. The Bruins are a much better team on paper and they need to come out and show it and get the two points that they deserve.