Bruins try to end slide against Panthers
(Sports Network) - The Boston Bruins will try to halt their longest losing streak in over a year when they host the lowly Florida Panthers in Sunday's contest at TD Garden.
The Bruins enter Sunday on an 0-3-1 slide in their last four, their longest winless stretch since dropping four straight from March 10-15, 2012.
Boston's latest setback came in Saturday's 3-2 regulation loss to visiting Pittsburgh. The teams were set to play on the previous night, but the game was postponed because of the daylong manhunt for the second Boston Marathon bomb suspect who was taken into custody Friday evening.
The events this week in Boston took an emotional toll on the Bruins, who saw two of their games postponed due to security concerns.
"It was tough to keep a dry eye," Bruins forward Shawn Thornton said. "It's been a tough week for the city and for the country."
The Bruins, who have already clinched a playoff spot, are two points behind Montreal for first place in the Northeast Division and second in the Eastern Conference. With five contests left in the regular season, Boston holds two games in hand over the Canadiens, who are idle on Sunday.
Boston allowed Pittsburgh's Jussi Jokinen to score a goal and set up a pair of power-play tallies in the third period of Saturday's loss. The victory allowed Pittsburgh to clinch the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin scored for the Bruins, while Tuukka Rask turned aside 21 shots in defeat.
Boston hasn't lost five straight since a 10-game slide from Jan. 16-Feb. 6, 2010.
The Bruins are 14-4-3 on home ice this season and three of their final five games of the regular season will be staged at TD Garden.
Boston's Nathan Horton did not return for the start of the second period on Saturday after a brief scrap with Pittsburgh's Jarome Iginla late in the first period. Horton is questionable for Sunday's game.
The Panthers are last in the NHL with 32 points and if their current 0-5-0 stretch is any indication, they don't seem too interested in playing the spoiler role. Florida has rarely been close to winning during its losing streak and has been outscored by a whopping 27-8 margin over the course of the slide.
The Bruins have recorded a pair of 4-1 wins against Florida this season and have won four of five and eight of the last 10 games in this series. Boston also has claimed two in a row and four of the last five encounters at TD Garden. The Panthers have been outscored by a combined 12-1 margin in their last two trips to Boston and are 6-15-1 as the road team this season.
Florida was handed a 6-2 loss in New Jersey on Saturday, as the Devils rode a four-goal second period to the easy win at Prudential Center.
Jacob Markstrom stopped 27 shots in the loss for Florida.
"I would hope not," Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell said when asked if some of his teammates have packed it in. "I know I haven't."
Florida has four games left in the season and will begin a two-game homestand in Tuesday's game against the New York Rangers.
04/21 11:07:31 ET