NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, December 6th
(All times eastern)
Boston Bruins (17-4-4) at Florida Panthers (11-11-3), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Boston netminder Tim Thomas was an All-Star last season,
while Florida's Craig Anderson was a backup that played in 17 games. However,
Anderson is on his way to joining Thomas as one of the top goaltenders in the
league this season.
The two will face off tonight, as Florida hosts Boston at BankAtlantic Center.
Thomas is following up his 2007-08 season with another stellar campaign this
year. He is 10-3-3 in 16 starts and leads the NHL with a 1.83 goals against
He is also second in the league with a .942 save percentage, having allowed
more than two goals in just one of his last nine starts.
Yet, his save percentage trails Anderson, who has posted a .947 save
percentage in 12 games (10 starts). Anderson has started each of Florida's
last four games, keeping former No. 1 Tomas Vokoun on the bench.
Anderson faces a stiff challenge tonight in Boston, which is tied with the New
York Rangers for the most points in the Eastern Conference with 38 despite
having played in four fewer games than the Rangers.
Boston has won three straight and seven of its last eight after defeating
Tampa Bay, 3-1, on Thursday. Phil Kessel scored twice and David Krejci had a
go-ahead short-handed goal in the third period.
Kessel, who has scored five times in his last four games, owns the NHL's
longest active point streak at 10 games. He has eight goals and five assists
over that run. Krejci, meanwhile, has five goals and six helpers over a seven-
game streak of his own.
Marc Savard ended with a pair of assists and Thomas stopped 30-of-31 shots for
the Bruins, who started December with a win after going 11-1-1 in November.
The Bruins are 8-3-3 on the road this year, though their lone setback in their
last eight games came in a road test versus Buffalo on November 26.
Thomas is just 2-5-1 with a 4.59 GAA in nine career starts versus the
Panthers, but stopped 30-of-32 shots faced in beating them back on November
The win was Boston's third in five games against Florida, but it has still
dropped eight of its last 11 versus the Panthers. The Bruins have won two
straight in Sunrise.
Vokoun allowed all four goals on 39 shots faced in Florida's earlier game
against Boston. Anderson has made three starts against the team lifetime,
going 2-1-0 with a 1.64 GAA.
The Panthers won their third straight game on Thursday, defeating the Sabres,
2-1. Anderson stopped 45 shots. Greg Campbell had a goal and an assist, while
Keith Ballard also lit the lamp. Jay Bouwmeester had an assist to run his
point streak to five games (3 goals, 4 assists).
Florida is 6-3-2 at home and begins a five-game road trip in Ottawa on Monday.
12/06 10:38:24 ET