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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 TBL 48 30 14 4 156 127 64
2 NYI 46 31 14 1 151 129 63
3 DET 47 27 11 9 139 119 63
4 MTL 45 29 13 3 123 106 61
5 PIT 46 26 12 8 138 117 60
6 NYR 44 27 13 4 134 106 58
7 WSH 46 24 13 9 137 120 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 44 20 14 10 107 122 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 48 19 22 7 130 146 45
13 CBJ 45 20 22 3 113 142 43
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 46 16 25 5 98 120 37
16 BUF 47 14 30 3 89 167 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 44 15 12 1 27
J. Huberdeau 41 8 17 1 25
A. Ekblad 44 6 19 7 25
J. Jokinen 43 4 20 0 24
J. Hayes 36 13 7 1 20
B. Boyes 42 9 11 1 20
S. Bergenheim 33 7 9 4 16
T. Fleischmann 38 5 8 9 13
V. Trocheck 28 4 9 6 13
D. Kulikov 39 1 12 -2 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 17 10 8 .923 2.32
A. Montoya 3 4 2 .887 3.09
 
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