Bruins at Panthers preview
Boston eyes fourth straight win; Florida looks to end home losing skidby Alain Poupart / NHL.com Independent Correspondent
BRUINS (42-13-12) at PANTHERS (33-26-7)
7 p.m. ET; SN1, SNE, SNO, SNP, FS-F, NESN, NHL.TV
The Florida Panthers will look to end a seven-game home winless streak when they play the Boston Bruins at BB&T Center on Thursday.
Florida is 0-6-1 at home since a 4-3 victory against the Los Angeles Kings on Jan. 16, including a 3-0 loss to the Calgary Flames on Sunday.
Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky did not practice the past two days after being scratched from his scheduled start against Calgary because of a lower-body injury sustained in warmups, but coach Joel Quenneville didn't rule him out against the Bruins.
Sam Montembeault started against the Flames and goalie Chris Driedger was recalled from Springfield of the American Hockey League on Tuesday.
Florida is five points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for third in the Atlantic Division and five points behind the New York Islanders for the second Wild Card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.
The Bruins have won three in a row and are 14-3-0 in their past 17 games. They have a nine-point lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning for first in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference after their 2-1 victory at Tampa Bay on Tuesday.
Players to watch
Bruins forward Brad Marchand has a four-game goal streak, and 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) during a 10-game point streak.
Panthers forward Noel Acciari has an NHL career-high 20 goals and leads the Panthers in even-strength goals with 19 after scoring 18 goals (17 even strength) in 180 games with the Bruins.
They said it
"I can't comment on what [the Panthers'] game plan is, but they typically want to outscore teams. That's the way they're built. We have to force them to defend in their own end, defend the slot." -- Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy
"We're going to have to play our best game, and we need that right now. We sort of need everybody going again, scoring goals and contributing any way we can. What better way to do that [than] against one of the top teams in the League to get our confidence back?" - Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar
Bruins projected lineup
Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Pastrnak
Nick Ritchie -- David Krejci -- Ondrej Kase
Jake DeBrusk -- Charlie Coyle -- Chris Wagner
Sean Kuraly -- Par Lindholm - Joakim Nordstrom
Zdeno Chara -- Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug -- Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk -- Jeremy Lauzon
Scratched: Anton Blidh, Karson Kuhlman, John Moore, Anders Bjork
Injured: Connor Clifton (upper body), Kevan Miller (knee)
Panthers projected lineup
Jonathan Huberdeau -- Aleksander Barkov -- Evgenii Dadonov
Mike Hoffman -- Erik Haula -- Frank Vatrano
Dominic Toninato -- Lucas Wallmark -- Brett Connolly
Colton Sceviour -- Noel Acciari -- Mark Pysyk
MacKenzie Weegar -- Aaron Ekblad
Riley Stillman -- Anton Stralman
Keith Yandle -- Mike Matheson
Scratched: Josh Brown, Aleksi Saarela
Injured: Sergei Bobrovsky (lower body), Brian Boyle (upper body), Dryden Hunt (lower body)
Neither team had a morning skate. … Marchand is expected to play despite missing practice Wednesday because of an illness, which kept him to a season-low 14:36 ice time against Tampa Bay. … Boyle will miss his 15th consecutive game, but the forward practiced the past two days and Quenneville said he could return to the lineup next week.
Chara will play in his 1,551st NHL game and move past Alex Delvecchio for sole possession of 15th place on the all-time list. … Haula leads the NHL in faceoff win percentage (66.7) since Feb. 22 among players with at least 50 faceoffs.