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The Panthers 2011-12 season is quickly approaching and with that, floridapanthers.com is going 15 in 15 by taking a look at the top five questions, players to watch and games of the season on a countdown to the home opener on October 15th against Tampa Bay. We'll unveil one of the top five on a rotating basis each day to help fans get ready for what hopes to be an exciting season.

PURCHASE TICKETS TO THE HOME OPENER

Countdown 15: No. 5 Game; December 8 vs Boston

Friday, 09.30.2011 / 5:22 PM / Countdown To Home Opener 2011
By Glenn Odebralski  - FloridaPanthers.com
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Countdown 15: No. 5 Game; December 8 vs Boston


David Booth and the Panthers look to win their first game against Tim Thomas and the Stanley Cup champs, the Boston Bruins for the first time since April 1, 2010 when they meet in Boston on December 8, 2011 (Getty Images)
In today's topic (the countdown's very first), we take a closer look at the game at the Boston Bruins on December 8th in the Top 5 Games this season.

Those that watched the playoffs this past summer saw the Bruins earn three Game-7 victories, including a 4-0 shutout in a hostile Vancouver environment in the Stanley Cup Finals, as they hoisted the shiny silver trophy.

Now after a summer of celebrating it will be their turn to defend the Cup as they look to win their seventh Stanley Cup in franchise history.

For the Panthers, December 8th will be the first time playing the Black and Gold during the 2011-12 season which is quite late for the two teams to start their four game season series. The last time that the series kicked off so late (first game in December) came during the 2002-03 season when they first played December 21.

The Panthers, with a possible 12 new players on the roster, should have found chemistry as well as gelling as a team by the time their meeting rolls around. The Bruins on the other hand have 17 players with their names engraved on the Cup that gained significant experience during their march to Lord Stanley's trophy. Leading the way on the front end are forwards David Krejci (12 goals, 23 points in 25 games), Patrice Bergeron (20 points in 23 games) and Brad Marchand (11 goals in 25 games). Along the blueliner are captain Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg. Then between the pipes is the unorthodox Tim Thomas who took home the Conn Smythe as the playoff MVP while going 16-9 with four shutouts and a 1.98 goals against and a .940 save percentage.

It's like the old saying goes. If you want to be the best you have to beat the best. The Bruins were the best of the best for the 2010-11 season and the Panthers will see how they stack up.

If the Stanley Cup angle isn't incentive enough, then the Panthers can use getting a victory angle as the Panthers last victory against the Bruins came on April 1, 2010. Florida lost all four games (0-3-1) last season by a combined eight goals (12-4).

Bring on the champs.
UPCOMING EVENTS

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AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 76 16 22 -14 38
S. Upshall 76 15 22 1 37
B. Campbell 82 7 30 -6 37
B. Boyes 78 21 15 -6 36
S. Bergenheim 62 16 13 -16 29
J. Huberdeau 69 9 19 -5 28
T. Fleischmann 80 8 20 -18 28
T. Gilbert 73 3 25 -5 28
B. Pirri 49 13 12 6 25
A. Barkov 54 8 16 -3 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 25 23 7 .919 2.40
S. Clemmensen 6 7 1 .896 3.09
 
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