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The Lowdown: Panthers vs Bruins

The Cats and Bruins battle in Boston at TD Garden.

Tuesday, 03.04.2014 / 11:30 AM / Preview
By "Hockey Pat" McGrath  - FloridaPanthers.com
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The Lowdown: Panthers vs Bruins
The Cats and Bruins battle in Boston at TD Garden.

THE LOWDOWN is a gameday preview produced by “Hockey Pat” McGrath, a lifelong Cats fan who previously wrote for the Florida Panthers themed blog “TheRatTrick”. The contents of THE LOWDOWN and all opinions expressed therein are solely those of Hockey Pat and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Florida Panthers or Sunrise Sports & Entertainment LLC. Having said that, if you find yourself laughing or smiling as you read the LOWDOWN, feel free to thank us. We accept thank you notes, tweets and ticket purchases.

Florida Panthers vs. Boston Bruins

The Basics


Panthers Bruins
Record 23-31-7 38-17-5
Points 53 81
Place 7th in Atlantic 1st in Atlantic
Snowfall This Winter 0" A lot

The Florida Panthers wrap up a three-game road trip tonight when they take on the Boston Bruins at TD Garden at 7:00 p.m. ET. This will be the fourth of five matchups between the two Atlantic Division rivals, with the final game coming this Sunday in South Florida. The B’s are a tough out, especially at home where they have a record of 23-7-2 but records do not mean anything once the puck drops and anyway, I’m feeling pretty good about this one, so…

Here’s the lowdown:

RED Hot Cats to Watch

Shawn Matthias: Matthias got another hot start to the month of March as he put up five points in the Panthers two weekend games. Matthias tallied a goal and an assist on Saturday and topped that performance off with two goals and a helper on Sunday.

Scottie Upshall: Upshall put in a three-point performance of his own on Sunday netting a goal and two assists. The three points gave Upshall 30 points (11-19-30), and a two-point cushion over Brad Boyes for the team’s scoring lead.

Bruins to Watch

#11 Gregory Campbell: The former Panther has gained a reputation in Boston as a legendary grinder. He can also score a goal or two in a pinch as evidenced by his pair of goals in Boston’s 6-3 win against the Rangers on Sunday. With an assist Saturday against Washington, the Bruins’ fourth line center has a nice little point streak going for himself.

# 27 Dougie Hamilton: Acquired with one of the first round draft picks the Bruins received in the Phil Kessel trade, the 20-year-old Dougie Hamilton has developed into a steady defenseman for the Boston Bruins. Hamilton averages right around 20 minutes per game for the B’s and he is on a two-game scoring streak during which he has amassed four points (1-3-4). On a side note he is also gifted with some of the better flow the NHL has to offer.

Pre-game Playlist:

Mandatory pre-game watch:

Return of Tim Thomas…again

Tonight will be the third appearance at TD Garden for the Florida Panthers. Former Bruin Tim Thomas who was out with an injury during the first Boston game, is expected to make his second start in Boston against his former team since moving on to the Panthers.

One would think that the luster of the “Thomas’ return” storyline would fade over time but as a former Boston resident, I can assure you that the fade will not be happening anytime this season. I was in attendance when the Scott Clemmensen-led Panthers took on the Bruins in Boston back in November and the Tim Thomas tribute from the fans was still extremely moving despite the fact that Thomas was in the press box and not in the crease.

It does not take long in Boston before you realize the importance of Thomas to a lot of Bruins fans. For a city like Boston that really adopts its stars into the family, the return of Tim Thomas will be a big story for the foreseeable future.

Gearing Up For the Long Haul

With their back-to-back games over the weekend, the Panthers kicked off their month of March that see them play 17 games in 31 days including a four-game mid-month west coast road swing. With such a tight schedule there will be little time for the players to rest, kind of like that time in college when you had to go out five nights in a row. There may have been a lot to do in a short amount of time but somehow someway you managed to get up every morning and do what you needed to do to get through the day.

Fun Fact!

The Bruins were founded by grocery store tycoon Charles Adams in 1924. The Bruins’ brown and yellow colors come from Adams’ grocery store chain, First National Stores, which also had the brown and yellow color scheme.

That’s all for today, enjoy the game everybody…

Let’s go Cats!

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 65 41 18 6 175 146 88
2 NYI 66 42 21 3 211 185 87
3 TBL 66 40 20 6 217 173 86
4 NYR 63 39 17 7 197 155 85
5 DET 63 36 16 11 184 165 83
6 PIT 63 36 18 9 182 158 81
7 WSH 66 35 21 10 194 164 80
8 BOS 63 31 22 10 168 165 72
9 FLA 65 28 23 14 159 185 70
10 OTT 63 29 23 11 179 169 69
11 PHI 65 28 25 12 173 187 68
12 NJD 65 27 28 10 146 168 64
13 CBJ 64 27 33 4 166 203 58
14 TOR 65 26 34 5 175 199 57
15 CAR 63 24 32 7 145 170 55
16 BUF 65 19 41 5 125 218 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 65 22 17 -8 39
J. Huberdeau 62 10 28 2 38
J. Jokinen 64 6 29 0 35
A. Ekblad 65 11 23 7 34
B. Boyes 63 11 21 9 32
J. Jagr 60 12 19 -10 31
J. Hayes 56 17 12 -5 29
B. Campbell 65 3 20 1 23
A. Barkov 54 10 12 -7 22
D. Kulikov 56 3 15 -5 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 23 16 11 .921 2.37
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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