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5 Things To Watch: Jan. 28 at Boston

Whether you're going to the game or if you can't make it and are catching the game on FOX Sports Florida or 560 WQAM, here are the five things to look for in tonight's matchup against the Bruins.

Tuesday, 01.28.2014 / 2:00 PM ET / News
By Nikhil Ghorpade  - FloridaPanthers.com
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5 Things To Watch: Jan. 28 at Boston

Whether you're going to the game or if you can't make it and are catching the game on FOX Sports Florida or 560 WQAM, here are the five things to look for in tonight's matchup against Boston.

PANTHERS (21-24-7) at BRUINS (33-15-3)
7:00 PM ET; TV: FOX Sports Network; RADIO: 560 AM
Last 10: Florida 5-4-1; Boston 6-3-1

TIMMY’S RETURN: It will be a big homecoming game for Tim Thomas. The Panthers goaltender crafted his career in the very building Florida will travel to on Tuesday, for the opposing team no less. The former Bruin, Thomas reached legendary status while playing out of TD Garden and even helped the team win a Stanley Cup in 2011 (although that was won in Vancouver in Game 7). The Panthers have already made a trip up to B-Town this season, falling to the Bruins 4-1 however backup goalie, Scott Clemmensen, got the start in that game. Tuesday will be emotional for Thomas, as he will finally face his former team in his former home arena.

A HELPING HAND: When it comes to help, Tom Gilbert is your man. The defenseman leads Florida with 24 points this season, all but two coming from assists. These past three games treated Gilbert well, as he carded a pair of assists in games versus Buffalo last Tuesday, Colorado on Friday and Detroit on Sunday. Overtime against the Red Wings on Sunday saw Gilbert help out in a different way stopping a sure Detroit game winner after Thomas made two stops seconds prior.

3’S A CHARM: The Panthers give you a reason to forgo a bathroom break and stay in your seat for the whole period. Florida has scored three goals in a single period in four of their last seven games, showing that opponents must always be on the lookout for a Panther attack. Sticking to your seat until the final whistle became even more evident on Sunday when the Panthers were down 3-1 in Detroit heading into the third but rallied back with three goals in the final period to force overtime.

ATOP THE ATLANTIC: The Panthers will have their work cut out for them as they head to Boston looking for their first win of the season series. The Bruins sit first in the Atlantic division and may play for the Conference title come springtime. Boston is led by a solid defense that may trouble the Panthers led by big 6’9 captain Zdeno Chara and netminder Tuukka Rask, though the Bruins have not had a great January in comparison to the rest of their season and Tuesday might be the Panthers opportunity to pounce on the division leader after they play Monday night on Long Island.

ON THE ROAD: Road trips seem to suit the Panthers pretty well as they have won three straight games away from the BB&T Center and are 10-5-1 on the road since mid-November. Florida does not seem to be too intimidated by the 7th man factor while playing away, though TD Garden is known for having some of the best, and most ravenous, fans in the NHL. After handling the crowds in Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Detroit, Florida should be prepared for whatever Bostonians throw at them.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
5 NYI 52 28 18 6 145 129 62
6 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
7 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
12 OTT 55 25 24 6 154 169 56
13 PHI 52 23 20 9 122 137 55
14 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
15 CBJ 55 21 28 6 137 170 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 51 17 21 14 38
J. Jokinen 54 11 27 12 38
J. Huberdeau 54 10 28 12 38
V. Trocheck 54 17 18 3 35
A. Barkov 43 16 19 13 35
R. Smith 54 18 16 12 34
B. Pirri 50 11 13 -4 24
A. Ekblad 50 10 13 20 23
B. Campbell 54 5 17 20 22
N. Bjugstad 39 9 10 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 24 13 5 .928 2.17
A. Montoya 8 3 1 .929 2.01

 
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