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Bruins at Panthers preview

Boston seeks to end five-game winless skid; Florida 3-6-0 in past nine

by Alain Poupart / Independent Correspondent

BRUINS (20-7-6) at PANTHERS (15-11-5)

7 p.m. ET; FS-F, NESN, NHL.TV


The Game

The Boston Bruins will look to end a season-long five-game winless streak when they visit the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center on Saturday.

The Bruins, 0-4-1 in their past five games following eight consecutive victories, are on their longest streak without a win since they went 0-5-0 from March 15-24, 2016. Boston has lost its past four in regulation, outscored 15-7.

The Panthers have lost two straight and are 3-6-0 in their past nine games.

Florida defeated Boston 5-4 in a shootout at TD Garden on Nov. 12, when it rallied from being down 4-0 in the third period, the biggest comeback in its history.


Players to watch

Bruins center Patrice Bergeron has two goals in three games since returning from a lower-body injury.

Panthers forward Mike Hoffman has five points (two goals, three assists) in a four-game point streak.


They said it

"We're kind of going through it right now and trying to find a recipe to get back in the win column. As frustrating as it is, it's just a handful of games in December. A little bit of perspective goes a long way. At the same time, we want to win. We're competitors and no one is really happy in here. That being said, in perspective." -- Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy

"We need a lot more urgency than we saw in the last two games. We didn't deserve those two games (a 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday and a 3-1 loss to the New York Islanders on Thursday). Tonight, we have to go out and earn it against arguably the best team in our division so far. It's going to be a challenge, but we want to rise up to those challenges and this is a big one." -- Panthers defenseman Anton Stralman


Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk -- David Krejci -- Brett Ritchie

Anders Bjork -- Charlie Coyle -- Danton Heinen

Joakim Nordstrom -- Sean Kuraly -- Chris Wagner

Zdeno Chara -- Charlie McAvoy

Torey Krug -- Brandon Carlo

Matt Grzelcyk -- John Moore

Tuukka Rask

Jaroslav Halak

Scratched: Par Lindholm, David Backes, Connor Clifton

Injured: Karson Kuhlman (fractured tibia)


Panthers projected lineup

Jonathan Huberdeau -- Aleksander Barkov -- Evgenii Dadonov

Mike Hoffman -- Vincent Trocheck -- Brett Connolly

Frank Vatrano -- Noel Acciari -- Denis Malgin

Dominic Toninato -- Brian Boyle -- Colton Sceviour

Keith Yandle -- Aaron Ekblad

MacKenzie Weegar -- Anton Stralman

Mike Matheson -- Mark Pysyk

Sergei Bobrovsky

Chris Driedger

Scratched: Josh Brown

Injured: Jayce Hawryluk (upper body)


Status report

The Bruins did not hold a morning skate after having a day off Friday. … Matheson will be back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch for the first time this season against the New York Islanders on Thursday. … Bobrovsky will make a fifth consecutive start after stopping 136 of 142 shots (.958 save percentage) in his past four.


Stat pack

DeBrusk needs one point to reach 100 in the NHL. … Coyle is one goal shy of 100 in the League. … Yandle has 24 points (two goals, 22 assists) in 27 games against Boston. … Florida was 0-for-6 on the power play in its past two games after going 4-for-11 in its previous three.

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