Mar 31, 2015
7:00 PM ET
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
7:00 PM ET
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Bergeron's faceoff ability key for Bruins vs. Panthers

Tuesday, 03.31.2015 / 1:27 PM

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

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Bergeron's faceoff ability key for Bruins vs. Panthers
Florida Panthers vs. Boston Bruins

PANTHERS (35-26-15) at BRUINS (38-25-13)


BOSTON -- Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron has taken the most faceoffs in the NHL with 1,792 in 75 games, so he's used to a heavy workload around the dots.

Lately though, Bergeron's workload has been heavier than usual. With the Bruins fighting for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, they have relied on the two-time Selke Trophy winner to take 34 faceoffs per game the past three games (two wins and an overtime loss). For the season, he's averaged 23.8 faceoffs attempts per game.

Bergeron, who leads the League with a faceoff success rate of 60 percent, has won 59.2 percent of his faceoffs the past three games, many in the defensive zone or at the most important point of some crucial games.

Bergeron's increased workload should continue when the Bruins host the Florida Panthers at TD Garden on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; SNE, SNO, SNW, FS-F, NESN). The Bruins lead the Panthers by four points for the second wild card into the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. The Ottawa Senators are three points behind Boston.

"Lately it's been a lot for faceoffs and defensive zone plays," Bergeron said. "So I'm trying to make sure the puck gets out and go from there. I think I take a lot of pride in my two-way game and the defensive part of it is really important to me. And definitely winning the faceoffs are important this time of year."

One would think that the more faceoffs a player takes the more he'd get worn down or predictable. Bergeron, however, manages to maintain his proficiency.

"If you get caught in your zone for that shift, if the puck doesn't get out it definitely takes some energy out of you," he said. "But I'm definitely trying to do the job right away and the puck gets out, then I can go back to my regular line. So other than that, I like doing it, I take a lot of pride in it and I have fun doing that too."

The Panthers are coming off a dramatic road win against the Senators on Sunday. There's been a lot of talk around the team about every game feeling like a Game 7 of a playoff series because of the do-or-die nature. Florida coach Gerard Gallant said his team is used to the pressure.

"It's been like that for us for a while now," Gallant said. "We're playing real good hockey, we're playing well and we've got to play well again tonight. It's going to be two hungry teams looking for the two points."

Goaltender Roberto Luongo is expected to start after Dan Ellis played in Ottawa. Luongo started the Panthers' prior five games and won three.

Here are the projected lineups:


Jonathan HuberdeauAleksander BarkovJaromir Jagr

Brandon PirriVincent TrocheckJimmy Hayes

Jussi JokinenDave BollandBrad Boyes

Scottie UpshallDerek MacKenzieTomas Kopecky

Brian CampbellAaron Ekblad

Willie MitchellErik Gudbranson

Dmitry KulikovAlex Petrovic

Roberto Luongo

Dan Ellis

Scratched: Steven Kampfer, Shawn Thornton

Injured: Al Montoya (lower body), Nick Bjugstad (back)


Brad MarchandPatrice BergeronDavid Krejci

Milan LucicRyan SpoonerDavid Pastrnak

Loui ErikssonCarl SoderbergReilly Smith

Chris KellyGregory CampbellMax Talbot

Zdeno CharaAdam McQuaid

Torey KrugDennis Seidenberg

Matt BartkowskiZach Trotman

Tuukka Rask

Niklas Svedberg

Scratched: Daniel Paille

Injured: Brett Connolly (finger), Dougie Hamilton (undisclosed), Kevan Miller (shoulder)

Status report: Gallant said Boyes will be back in after he was scratched last game. But the status of Kampfer, a defenseman who played forward last game, and Thornton was still undetermined because other players are bumped up, according to Gallant. … Connolly is getting closer to being available, according to Julien. There was no update on Hamilton.

Who's hot: Huberdeau has two goals and six points during a four-game scoring streak. … Spooner has a three-game scoring streak with two goals in that span.

Team Stats

2014-2015 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 09 '15 7:30 PM ET at Panthers
Mar 31 '15 7:00 PM ET at Bruins
Mar 21 '15 BOS 1 at FLA 2 - SO B. Pirri
Nov 04 '14 FLA 1 at BOS 2 - OT B. Marchand
J. Huberdeau73133649+93200
N. Bjugstad72241943-73873
J. Jagr71152641-24834
J. Jokinen7583341-23220
B. Boyes73122335+101653
A. Ekblad75112435+113254
J. Hayes66181331-52043
A. Barkov65141731-11223
B. Campbell7632225+21810
B. Pirri4320222+51063
T. Fleischmann5271421+12801
D. Bolland4751621+14600
D. Kulikov6731821-14610
V. Trocheck4451419+82210
S. Bergenheim3981018+23402
S. Upshall608715-82802
E. Gudbranson714812-35600
D. MacKenzie765611-164110
D. Olsen44268-72000
T. Kopecky59257-192401
W. Mitchell60246+22300
S. Kampfer23224-21201
S. Thornton42134-135000
A. Petrovic27033-31700
R. Grimaldi7101+1400
S. O'Brien9011-4500
C. Robak7000-1200
G. Wilson2000-2000
R. Luongo5726-17-1212816242.33.921
A. Montoya195-7-2474203.08.888
D. Ellis74-2-1151932.11.922
P. Bergeron75213253+24234
L. Eriksson75192443+11464
M. Lucic75172542+147923
D. Hamilton72103242-34152
C. Soderberg76122941+102643
B. Marchand71221739+59125
R. Smith75132538+91810
T. Krug72122537+131820
D. Krejci4172128+61811
C. Kelly7472027+74602
D. Pastrnak40101525+13823
Z. Chara5781220-33640
M. Talbot7751318+02901
R. Spooner237815+1231
D. Paille716713-91201
G. Campbell676612+14502
D. Seidenberg763912+03400
S. Griffith306410-2611
K. Miller41257+201501
A. McQuaid57167+27400
S. Gagne23314+0401
M. Bartkowski41044-23700
Z. Trotman21044-3000
M. Fraser24303-5701
C. Cunningham32213-4200
J. Morrow15101+3400
B. Ferlin7011+0000
D. Warsofsky4011+1000
J. Caron11000-11600
B. Robins3000+01400
A. Khokhlachev3000-2000
M. Lindblad2000+0000
T. Rask6431-19-1214218342.30.923
N. Svedberg187-5-1354252.33.918
M. Subban10-1-0365.81.500