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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 / 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 the Bruins.

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 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
3 NYI 62 40 20 2 200 173 82
4 TBL 62 37 19 6 203 167 80
5 DET 60 34 15 11 176 156 79
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 62 33 19 10 184 156 76
8 BOS 60 29 22 9 158 158 67
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 61 25 27 9 137 161 59
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 59 22 30 7 134 159 51
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 61 21 15 -9 36
J. Huberdeau 58 9 24 4 33
A. Ekblad 61 9 23 6 32
J. Jokinen 60 6 25 -3 31
B. Boyes 59 10 18 6 28
J. Hayes 52 17 10 -5 27
A. Barkov 50 9 12 -4 21
T. Fleischmann 52 7 14 12 21
B. Campbell 61 3 17 1 20
D. Bolland 37 3 13 2 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 22 16 11 .921 2.38
A. Montoya 4 6 2 .893 2.98
 
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