The Boston Bruins continue their road trip by heading down to sunny Florida. They are set to play the Florida Panthers, who are battling for a wild-card spot.
After a wild third-period comeback the other night, the Boston Bruins are ready to face another “bubble team” in the Florida Panthers. This is the third of a four-game road trip for the Bruins. They split the first two games and are 7-1 in their last eight.
We are now at the mid-point of the month of March and Boston is in the middle of a very tough end-of-season schedule. So far so good, but unfortunately the injury list continues to pile up. While Patrice Bergeron and Charlie McAvoy have been sidelined for a few games now, Tuesday’s victory did not come unscathed. The Bruins lost Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug, and Jake DeBrusk all to injury throughout the game. Somehow, Boston still came away with a victory. But, that fortune and third-period hat tricks will not come often.
Luckily, the Boston Bruins depth has been a strong point throughout the season. Trade deadline pickups in Nick Holden, Rick Nash, Brian Gionta, and Tommy Wingels seem like even more important pickups now that more have fallen out of the lineup due to injury as well.
While injuries could be an issue for the Bruins tonight, there is also the sight of Tampa on the horizon this Saturday. The fight for first place is far from over and Saturday will no doubt be a fun, exciting, and solid measuring-stick game. Boston is currently only four points back with two games in-hand. It’s easy for Boston to overlook Florida and be thinking about Tampa. The last thing the Bruins can do tonight is look past the Panthers and give away two points.
This is the first matchup between these two teams this season. The Florida Panthers and Boston Bruins still have two more matchups after tonight. Florida currently sits four points behind Columbus, with three games in-hand, for that second wild-card spot. Gaining on one of the top three teams in the Atlantic has seen close to impossible for a while now for Florida. But, they have somehow snuck into the wild card discussion as of late.
The Panthers are 8-1-1 in their last ten games. They are 14-4-1 since the beginning of February. They clearly have not given up on playoff hopes just yet. The Bruins are clearly heading to the playoffs. Boston needs to come ready to play tonight and hopefully not have to rely on a third-period comeback to secure two points.