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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

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.

UPCOMING EVENTS

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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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