NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, January 26th (All times eastern)
Florida Panthers (22-21-5) at Boston Bruins (27-15-7), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Boston Bruins will try to complete a season series sweep of the Panthers tonight, as they host Florida at TD Garden in the final game before the All-Star break for both clubs.
Boston has taken all three encounters with the Panthers this season and can put the finishing touches on a series sweep tonight. The Bruins have taken five of six and six of the last eight encounters overall and Florida has dropped tree of its last five in Beantown.
Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas is 2-0 against the Panthers this season and has stopped 63-of-66 shots thrown his way in those games. He is 6-6-2 with a 3.07 goals-against average in 15 career games against Florida.
Thomas was dealt a rare loss this season in Boston's last outing, a 2-0 setback Monday night in Los Angeles. Jonathan Quick out-dueled Thomas with 34 saves in the shutout and Boston's netminder fell to 23-5-6 on the season with 32 saves.
The setback against the Kings was Boston's first regulation loss on the road since Dec. 16 at Montreal. The Bruins, who were shut out for the first time since a home tilt against Anaheim on Dec. 20, are still first in the Northeast Division and two points ahead of Montreal.
"I didn't think we generated as much offense as we normally do," said Boston head coach Claude Julien. "Give the other team credit for that because they did a good job minimizing that. We didn't get too many screens or traffic in front of Quick."
The loss to the Kings wasn't the only bad news Boston had to deal with on Monday as it was also announced that Bruins forward Marc Savard is out indefinitely after suffering another concussion.
Savard was driven into the end boards by Colorado defenseman Matt Hunwick during the second period of Saturday's road win over the Avalanche. The 33- year-old Savard missed the first 23 games of the 2010-11 campaign because of post-concussion symptoms.
Boston is 12-9-3 as the host this season and is home for just one game, as the Bruins will visit Carolina on Tuesday for their next test.
The Panthers, meanwhile, ended a four-game slide their last time out and also improved to 4-1-3 in their last eight contests.
Florida notched a 4-3 road win over the New York Rangers on Tuesday and Mike Weaver was credited with the game-winning goal with 8:19 left in the third period for the Panthers.
Rostislav Olesz, Keaton Ellerby and Mike Santorelli also scored for the Panthers.
"We had a pretty good showing tonight, and it was great to get the (game- winning) goal," said Weaver.
Tomas Vokoun finished with 32 saves to record his first win since Jan. 11 against Washington. Scott Clemmensen is expected to get the start tonight for Florida rather than using the 34-year-old Vokoun on consecutive days.
The Panthers are 11-13-0 on the road this season and will play the third test on a six-game swing tonight. Florida will continue the trek after the break when they visit Toronto on Tuesday.
01/26 10:46:24 ET