BOSTON – With the Christmas weekend approaching, the Boston Bruins will have a rare, three-day break before resuming practice Tuesday in Phoenix.
But before the team can kick back, they need to get by the Southeast division leading Florida Panthers tonight at the TD Garden, and defenseman Dennis Seidenberg said the team will concentrate and avoid looking ahead.
“Especially with break coming up, we have to be focused tonight so we don’t go into the break a little early,” Seidenberg said. “It’s going to be important for us to put our effort on the ice, and work for 60 minutes – and after that enjoy the break.”
Last time the two teams squared off, Florida pulled away from the Garden with 2-0 victory.
“[They’re] very tough, they’re playing the same system as us, and are working very hard,” Seidenberg said. “Yesterday, they got a point in Ottawa [4-3 OTL], and it’s going to be a tough game for us tonight as well.”
Florida, who has played three games this week, lost forward Stephen Weiss to an upper-body injury in last night’s game. Weiss is the fifth player to go down over the last four games for the Panthers, and seven total are out with injuries.
Regardless, defenseman Joe Corvo said that the Panthers are going to put up a fight and the injuries won’t be an issue
“We’re going to feel like we owe them something so we’re going to play pretty hard,” Corvo said. “But no matter who’s in or out of their lineup, they play the same way – they play a good game so it will be tough.”
With Rich Peverley ruled out tonight, Zach Hamill is likely to get some increased ice time. The versatile forward, who’s become known for his willingness to play anywhere on the ice, said he expects tonight to be an energized game.
“I'm looking forward to every single game,” Hamill said. “Team-wise, both are right there in the standings beside each other – it’s just another big game.”