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Panthers confident in abilities on road, coming back

by Matt Kalman

BOSTON -- Florida Panthers interim coach Peter Horachek thinks when his team went on the road and won three straight games against the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators in December, the Panthers gained the confidence they could prevail away from home against some of the better teams in the NHL.

That confidence has carried the Panthers on their current three-game road winning streak, which continued with a comeback against the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday. The Panthers will need all their confidence and more Tuesday when they visit the Boston Bruins, who are 19-5-2 at TD Garden this season.

"We know what we have to [do] to win, and no matter what building we're in we're trying to catch up to everybody and we're trying to make up some ground and trying to stay relevant to that last [Stanley Cup Playoff] spot," Horachek said after the Panthers' morning skate. "So you have to learn how to win on the road and be successful on the road and I think we've had some success. … That's important for us. We have to learn to play in those situations, in hard buildings, in tough buildings, and those got us going."

The Panthers probably would best be served getting off to a better start against the Bruins than they did against the Red Wings. Florida trailed by two goals entering the third period before rallying for a 5-4 shootout victory. In recent games the Panthers have shown a knack for late comebacks.

"I think at the beginning of the season, I feel like in the third period we always we came back … and that's what we've been doing," Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau said. "Especially [against the Bruins], we want to have a good start and it's important to have a good start in those types of games. But sometimes it happens you're down two goals going to the third. And I think as a team we've got to work harder and I think we find a way to come back every time."

Forward Tomas Kopecky might be ready to return from injury for the Panthers.

The Bruins did not hold a morning skate after arriving home late from their road victory against the New York Islanders on Monday. There's a chance center Chris Kelly (leg) will return from injury against the Panthers.

Here are the projected lineups:


Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Jarome Iginla

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Reilly Smith

Daniel Paille - Carl Soderberg - Loui Eriksson

Jordan Caron - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara - Johnny Boychuk

Matt Bartkowski - Kevan Miller

Torey Krug - Dougie Hamilton

Tuukka Rask

Chad Johnson

Scratched: Zach Trotman, Ryan Spooner

Injured: Chris Kelly (leg), Dennis Seidenberg (knee), Adam McQuaid (leg)


Jonathan Huberdeau - Marcel Goc - Jesse Winchester

Scottie Upshall - Nick Bjugstad - Shawn Matthias

Sean Bergenheim - Scott Gomez - Brad Boyes

Tomas Fleischmann - Drew Shore - Jimmy Hayes

Brian Campbell - Tom Gilbert

Dmitry Kulikov - Mike Weaver

Dylan Olsen - Ed Jovanovski

Tim Thomas

Scott Clemmensen

Scratched: Erik Gudbranson, Krys Barch

Injured: Tomas Kopecky (upper body), Aleksander Barkov (knee), Mike Mottau (lower body)

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