Desperate Bruins set to host Panthers
PANTHERS (30-34-12) at BRUINS (35-29-12)
: Florida 3-5-2; Boston 5-5-0.
: This is the fourth and final meeting between the teams. Boston has won two of three, including a 3-2 shootout victory on Feb. 13 at the BankAtlantic Center. Mark Recchi scored the game-winner in Round 8.
: They may have only six games remaining in the regular season, but the Bruins haven't clinched a playoff spot just yet. They enter Thursday's action just two points ahead of the ninth-place Atlanta Thrashers in the Eastern Conference.
: Florida suffered its fourth straight loss (0-3-1) on Wednesday night, when it was pummeled 6-2 at Buffalo. After Jeff Taffe opened the scoring less than 2 minutes in, the Panthers gave up four straight goals and were eventually outshot 41-15, including 20-2 in the second period.
"It was pretty ugly," Florida coach Peter DeBoer said. "When you're standing behind the bench for that, you want to be anywhere else. Unfortunately, this is the bed we've made and we have to lie in it."
: Boston won a thriller on Tuesday night as Patrice Bergeron broke a scoreless tie with 18.3 seconds left in overtime to lift Boston to a 1-0 victory at New Jersey. The win kept the Bruins two points ahead of Atlanta in the race for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference, and Boston has a game in hand.
"We're fighting for our lives right now," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "It's pretty obvious that those points are huge. That first point gave us something and we really had to work hard to get that second. Look around the league tonight. Teams that are chasing us also won. Every game has to be about desperation."
: Panthers forward Michael Frolik
scored his 19th goal of the season on Wednesday. He has three points in his last two games. … Bergeron has two goals and three assists in his last five contests.
: Florida forward David Booth
(concussion) is done for the season. Gregory Campbell (foot) and Byron Bitz
(elbow) are day-to-day. … For the Bruins, defenseman Andrew Ference (groin) and center Marc Savard (concussion) are out.
: Why is Boston on the playoff bubble? Easy. The Bruins are just 3-10-3 in their last 16 games at TD Garden.
: "It's in our hands. If we worry about ourselves and do the job, we shouldn't worry about anybody else. We've got find a way to get that energy, that effort. We know it's a tough schedule, but no one feels sorry for us." -- Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron