Florida Panthers vs Boston Bruins 3/14/2013

Boston Bruins Milan Lucic David Krejci

Boston Bruins by Dan4th

The Florida Panthers depart the sunny climes of South Beach and head to the frosty shores of Massachusetts to meet the Boston Bruins tonight. The location is TD Gardens and the first puck drops at 7:00ET.

The Panthers (7-14-6) did not appear to appreciate the nice weather in Miami as they went 0-3 on their last home stand. Furthermore, they are 2-8 in the last 10 games with that stretch beginning on February 24 with a 4-1 loss to tonight’s opponent. On Tuesday they dropped an affair with fellow Sunshine State resident Tampa Bay 3-2. They are looking to break a 4 game losing streak coming into tonight’s action. Good luck with that.

The Bruins (17-4-3) are 7-3 in that same 10 game span since the win versus Florida 18 days ago. They did suffer a very disappointing loss in their last game on Tuesday falling to Pittsburgh 3-2. In that one they lead 2-0 entering the 3rd period and allowed the Penguins to score 3 unanswered goals to pull off a dramatic come from behind victory.

A bounce back game by Boston appears to be in order with them holding a 7-2 advantage in the series against Florida. The Panthers also own the distinction of registering the fewest points in the NHL thus far this season with just 20. Their goal tending is atrocious with them allowing 101 goals, the most in the league. Over the last 11 games played, they have yielded at least 3 goals each in 10 of them. In fairness to the Panthers, their number one goalie, veteran Jose Theodore has been sidelined with a leg injury and will be out another 3 to 5 weeks. Net minder Scott Clemmensen has started 11 games and has 4.28 goals against average. Jacob Markstrom has been the Panthers pick the past 5 contests and played in 7 overall. His GAA is only slightly better at 3.29.

The Bruins are solid in the net with Tuukka Rask posting numbers of 1.96 GAA and a 92% save percentage in 18 games played. I would expect Rask to get the start tonight given his exceptional numbers against Florida. He has a 5-1 won/loss record against them and allowed less than a goal (0.98) in those 6 contests. He has also shut them out twice.
Don’t look for any scoring by Florida in 5-4 scenarios either. They are 0-14 on the power play during their last 7 matches and Boston ranks 1st in the NHL on the penalty kill. Overall the Bruins are 4th in goals allowed. Conversely, the Panthers are dead last in the league in both goals allowed per game and penalty kills.

Florida center Jonathan Huberdeau has as many goals (12) as does Boston’s Brad Marchand to lead their respective clubs, but the Panthers don’t have the weapons and defense the Bruins possess. Look for Patrice Bergeron to set up Marchand for at least one score and look for the Bruins to score early and often in a Beantown beat down of the Panthers.

Free NHL Pick: Boston Bruins

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