TIME: Wednesday, 7 p.m. EST.
Entering this season, the Bruins were set to have defending Calder Trophy winner Andrew Raycroft as their starting goatender. Nearing the halfway point of the campaign, unheralded Hannu Toivonen is making Boston rethink that decision.
The rookie may get the chance for his fifth win of the month when the Bruins meet the Florida Panthers at the BankAtlantic Center.
Toivonen only needed to make a season-low 15 saves as the Bruins rallied for a 4-3 overtime win Tuesday against the Washington Capitals.
Marco Strum and Sergei Samsonov scored 49 seconds apart midway through the third period to tie it before Brad Stuart netted the game-winner 2:02 into overtime.
The win was Boston's second in 11 games when trailing after two periods.
"We're at this point right now where we have to get it going," Samsonov said. "There's nothing really than can discourage us anymore. We're a desperate team, and I think we kind of showed that desperation tonight."
Toivonen started this month with a 26-save performance in a 3-0 victory over the Eastern Conference-leading Ottawa Senators. He is 4-2-1 with a 2.40 goals-against average in December.
In his only career start against Florida on Nov. 3, Toivonen stopped 30 shots in a 4-1 win.
Boston is 4-1-2 in its last seven road games against the Panthers.
Florida will try to rebound after it had a three-game home winning streak snapped Monday with a 3-2 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Roberto Luongo gave up the game-winner to the Flyers' Michal Handzus in the fourth round of the shootout.
"With a little bit of luck we could have won the game," Panthers head coach Jacques Martin said. "A couple of mistakes cost us the game, but we showed a lot of character and determination and we got a point."
Leading scorer Olli Jokinen had an assist, giving him four goals and seven assists in a seven-game points streak. He has seven goals and four assists in 25 career games against the Bruins.
STANDINGS (through Dec. 27): Bruins - 32 points, 5th place, 21 PB, Northeast Division. Panthers - 31 points, 4th place, 18 PB, Southeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Bruins - Samsonov, 15 goals and 29 points; Patrice Bergeron, 15 assists; Jiri Slegr and Hal Gill, 48 PIM. Panthers - Jokinen and Nathan Horton, 16 goals; Jokinen, 22 assists and 38 points; Chris Gratton, 59 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Dec. 27): Bruins - Power play: 16.8 percent (34 for 203), tied for 16th in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.5 percent (188 for 228), 13th. Panthers - Power play: 15.2 percent (30 for 197), tied for 23rd. Penalty killing: 81.8 percent (202 for 247), tied for 17th.
GOALTENDERS: Bruins - Toivonen (8-4-4, 1 SO, 2.87 GAA); Andrew Raycroft (5-13-2, 3.36). Panthers - Roberto Luongo (13-16-5, 2, 3.09); Jamie McLennan (0-4-0, 3.10).
SEASON SERIES: Bruins, 2-0.
LAST MEETING: Nov. 3; Bruins, 4-1. At Boston, Samsonov assisted on two third-period goals for the Bruins. Joel Kwiatkowski scored for the Panthers.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Bruins - 7-11-4 on the road; Panthers - 10-6-2 at home.