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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, February 9th (All times eastern)

Florida Panthers (25-26-5) at Boston Bruins (28-21-5), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Florida Panthers will continue their five-game road trip this evening, as they battle the Boston Bruins at TD Banknorth Garden.

The Panthers won the first two tests of this swing by an 11-2 margin, including an 8-0 rout of Toronto on Tuesday, before falling to Ottawa, 5-4, on Thursday.

Olli Jokinen continued his torrid pace for Florida, as he found the back of the net for a third straight game. Jokinen also had an assist in the loss to give him three goals and three helpers in his last four tests.

The 29-year-old Fin, the subject of recent trade rumors, also has 11 points over his last eight contests and leads the Panthers with 27 goals, 28 assists and 55 points this season.

David Booth, Nathan Horton and Brett McLean added goals for Florida, and Tomas Vokoun made 29 saves. Richard Zednik recorded two assists in the loss.

Florida, which had a three-game win streak broken, is fourth in the Southeast Division, but is also only three points back of first-place Carolina, a reason the club may be hesitant to move Jokinen.

The Panthers are 14-14-1 as the road team this year and wrap their trek on Sunday in Buffalo.

Florida has won three straight and five of its last six at Boston. The club had won six in a row overall versus the Bruins until dropping a 4-3 home decision on November 29.

Boston halted a two-game losing streak on Friday with a 3-2 shootout win in Buffalo. Phil Kessel notched the only goal of the extra session to lift the Bruins.

With Boston's second chance, Kessel appeared to want to shift from the forehand to the backhand as he skated in on Buffalo's Ryan Miller. While Miller looked for the poke check, Kessel lost control of the puck and it slid through Miller's pads.

Derek Roy could have prolonged the contest for the Sabres, but Alex Auld did the splits to get his right pad against the post to stop the shot and wrap up the game.

Zdeno Chara and Marco Sturm scored in regulation for the Bruins, while Auld made 21 saves and stopped all three skaters he faced in the shootout to earn his ninth win of the season and sixth with Boston.

Glen Murray returned to the lineup after missing 19 games with a hip injury. The forward, who has 10 goals and nine assists in 35 games this season, was a plus-one and fired four shots on net in the game.

Boston enters tonight's test in third place in the Northeast Division, nine points behind first-place Ottawa. The club is 14-10-3 at home this year and will also host Carolina on Tuesday.

02/09 10:54:58 ET


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