The Bruins will begin their 5-game road trip tonight with a clash with the Florida Panthers in Sunrise, FL. The Bruins are hoping that an emotionally charged 4-1 win over the Atlanta Thrashers before Christmas will help to energize them as they begin one of their longest road trips of the season. Meanwhile, the Panthers have won 3 out of their last 4 games and will try to get back to .500 with a win tonight (16-17-0).
The Bruins and Panthers have met twice already this season with the B's coming away victorious in both contests. Tuukka Rask shutout the Panthers 4-0 at TD Garden on November 18th and the B's skated to a 3-1 win in Florida on November 24th.
In net, Tomas Vokoun has been fairly solid for the Panthers. Vokoun has 14-13-0 record with 4 shutouts. He has posted .922 save percentage and a 2.51 GAA.
The B's will be without Mark Stuart (broken finger) again tonight. The Defenseman is expected to be out until mid to late January. Brad Marchand ("soreness") is not expected to return to the lineup tonight, but did participate in the morning skate. Andrew Ference is a question mark due to an eye injury he sustained during Thursday night's brawl. The B's have not called anyone up yet, so my guess is that Ference is good to go tonight.
Florida Panthers Injuries
- Tim Thomas was the first goalie off the ice at the morning skate and is expected to get the start in goal for the Bruins tonight.
- Recent call-up Evgeny Dadonov has notched 7 points in his last 5 games for Florida.
- Milan Lucic was not suspended for his role in Thursday's brawl with the Atlanta Thrashers. He will be in the lineup tonight.
- If you are going to the game, the Florida Panthers can't guarantee that the will have a good time unless you are a resident of Florida.
- Florida is a league-worst 9.6% on power play this season.
- The Panthers are the only team in the league without an overtime or shootout loss.
- The game starts at 7:30 PM ET and airs on NESN and 98.5 FM The Sports Hub.
- Public Skate open thread gets going at 7:00 PM ET.
- For more on tonight's game, head over to Litter Box Cats