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A Boston State Of Mind

Panthers look to rebound from Islanders and Rangers defeat while also keeping eye on Boston game.

Friday, 04.19.2013 / 5:46 PM ET / News
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A Boston State Of Mind
Goaltender Scott Clemmensen makes a save against the Rangers Thursday night at Madison Square Garden (Getty Images)

After spending the last four days in New York City having played games at the New York Islanders on Tuesday and at Madison Square Garden against the Rangers on Thursday, the Panthers should be in a New York State of Mind. However, like most of the country, the Panthers have their attention turned towards the recent tragic events that have occurred in Boston over the past few days, especially since they are scheduled to play the Bruins at TD Garden on Sunday at 12:30pm.

That was even made more of a case with the recent shifting of games for the Bruins as their game that was supposed to be played tonight against the Penguins was moved to Saturday afternoon and Saturday's game against the Sabres was moved to Tuesday.

“It is on the horizon and we all are aware of what is going on in Boston, but at this time we will take the lead of the National Hockey League, the Bruins and the authorities and respect all decisions that are made over the next few days,” said Head Coach Kevin Dineen. “We are just small piece of what is going in Boston right now and our thought and prayers are with everyone who has been impacted by this ongoing tragedy.”

“It is obviously very scary for the city of Boston and their residents,” said Panthers G Scott Clemmensen who played four years at Boston College. “At this point we have to focus on playing New Jersey tomorrow and continue to watch what happens with this ongoing situation.”

While Boston is set for Sunday, the Panthers will first play the New Jersey Devils on Saturday (1pm). Florida held a spirited 40-minute workout at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan on Friday in preparation and after suffering a disappointing 6-1 loss the Rangers on Thursday, which prompted a post-game team meeting.

“I have always been a believer in brutal honesty and in being able to say something to people and not about people,” said Dineen after this team went through the workout. “We want our guys to be better players, we have a group of really good people and we want them to be the best they can be on a nightly basis.”

The Panthers will play their last set of back-to-back games this season with their games against the Devils and Bruins. The first two meetings with the Devils this season have been extremely close affairs with New Jersey pulling out a 2-1 victory in New Jersey on March 23 and the Panthers getting a game-tying goal from Shawn Matthias with less than 30 seconds to play to force overtime where Dmitry Kulikov netted the game winner in Sunrise a week later.

“The Devils have been a really great rival for us. We have had great games in the regular season and an exciting playoff series last year,” said Dineen. “It is 1-1 in the season series and we would like to get the win tomorrow and looking it as a big opportunity.”

Florida will be without the services of defenseman Erik Gudbranson (upper body) for this weekend’ s games as he left Thursday's game against the Rangers in the final minutes of play. Fellow blueliner Tyson Strachan (upper body) was sent home to South Florida for further evaluation. Missing the Rangers game, defenseman Filip Kuba skated with the team on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
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