It doesn’t look like the Boston Bruins (43-16-8) are about to slow down anytime soon. The Bruins have won six of their last seven games to take over second place in the Eastern Conference standings, but this Thursday, they’ll have to contend with an even hotter team: the Florida Panthers (34-26-7), who have re-joined the playoff hunt by winning eight of their last ten. NESN has the coverage from BB&T Center beginning at 7:30 PM ET.
The Bruins have been on a tear since mid-November, getting quality goaltending from both Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin, who are tied with a .918 save percentage. Boston’s puck possession stats are strong, and they’re winning 50.9% of their face-offs, but they might have to do without their top skater. LW Brad Marchand (29 goals, 40 assists) is day-to-day with an undisclosed upper-body injury that he picked up over the weekend.
Florida’s renaissance can be traced to one man: goalie Roberto Luongo (.926 SV%). He came off the injured list in mid-February and has won eight of his 11 starts since then, allowing two goals or fewer on six occasions. The Panthers are now completely healthy for their Wild-Card chase in the East.