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Bruins Look to Get Back on Track

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins – The last time the Boston Bruins and the Florida Panthers squared off, the Black & Gold sent fans away for the holiday weekend with an 8-0 victory at TD Garden.

Who could forget the Santa hats that came flying onto the ice to celebrate Brad Marchand’s first career hat trick, or Benoit Pouliot’s dangle between his legs before scoring on a breakaway?

What Chris Kelly remembers is the 2-0 loss Florida dealt to Boston (28-12-1) two weeks prior to the holiday win, and the B’s forward said he expects a tough contest tonight.

“They work extremely hard, they skate well,” Kelly said. “They have a good first line, a defense that can turn the rush and control their passes. We have to come out and have our best game.

"They beat us 2-0 at home a while ago and nothing but a consistent effort will get us two points.”

The last time around, Florida was without six of their forwards, but in tonight’s matchup Marcel Goc and Mikael Samuelsson will skate against the Bruins.

“The last time we played them they had a lot of injuries, but they have a lot of depth, a lot of skill and its difficult to play against that kind of combination,” Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid said.

Florida (21-14-8) is tied for the lead in the Southeast Division, and they sit seventh in the Eastern conference with 50 points.  

Forward David Krejci said that as the Bruins turn the corner on the second half of the season, wins are going to come at a premium as the playoffs creep closer and teams hang on for a spot in the top eight.

“It’s going to be tough, they’re skilled up front and it’s going to be a battle,” Krejci said. “They have a good power play so we have to be disciplined, and they battle the puck too.

"Every single game is going to be a hard one, and teams are [trying to] make the playoffs [Florida] is one of those teams so it’s going to be a tough one.”

--- Anthony Gulizia
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