WILMINGTON, MA -- The last time the Boston Bruins lost a regulation game was two weeks ago today – a 2-0 loss to the Florida Panthers.
Panthers a Different Breed of Cat
Gregory Campbell and Nathan Horton have skated in a combined 785 games over six seasons with the Florida Panthers, but tomorrow, for just the sixth time in their two seasons with Boston, the two will lineup against their former team.
The Panthers went through some lean years while Campbell and Horton were with the organization, but Florida (18-10-6) now sits in first place in the Southeast division going into tonight’s game against Ottawa.
“They’ve had a lot of high draft picks,” Campbell said. “I know [general manager] Dale Tallon has gone in down there – he had success in Chicago and he’s a smart hockey man – he made the right moves.”
Along with Campbell and Horton, Dennis Seidenberg also played 62 games in Florida in the 2009-10 season.
“It’s tough to sell games down there – it’s either go to a beach or a hockey game,” Campbell said. “But if they win, which they’re doing now, you’re always going to attract fans. That organization works really hard to put people in the stands, and the easiest way to do that is to win. There’s not a lot of guys Nathan and I played with that are still there, but the guys that are there we keep in touch with and it’s nice to see them happy.”
Since then, the B’s have won five-straight, and 17 of their last 20, and the Black & Gold will get a chance to avenge their latest loss when they host the Florida Panthers tomorrow at 7 p.m. at TD Garden.
“I think they’re catching a lot of teams by surprise, a lot of teams might not take them seriously, but they’re getting some wins here and there and they are for real,” forward Gregory Campbell said. “They played a smart road game [last game] and pushed us to the limit and that’s often what happens when games go 0-0 late.”
The Bruins will have to come out more aggressive tomorrow night if they want to win against Florida, who is a successful, well-coached team, according to Campbell.
“Their first line is having a lot of success, as is their back hand and their goaltenders are playing well,” he said. “They’re getting a lot of offensive chances from their back end, they’re a young team that’s coached well and they work hard, so we have to be prepared to compete.”
The B’s haven’t played a game since Monday’s 3-2 win over Montreal, and the rest has been helping Campbell, who has had time to recover from his foot fracture.
“It’s better each day,” Campbell said, who’s been practicing since Sunday. “I think broken bones tend to take four weeks to totally heal, but for now it’s not an issue.”
Florida, who is 18-10-6 going into tonight’s game against Ottawa, is on a four-game stretch that started Sunday and will end tomorrow, and Campbell said that should work in his team’s favor.
Head Coach Claude Julien agreed with Campbell, and said that his team was slow out of the gate in the 2-0 loss earlier this season.
“We need to come out a little more aggressive – with a little bit of passion behind it ” Julien said. “And tomorrow, we need to be the fresher team.”