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Preview: Bruins face the desperate Panthers in Sunrise

Florida's back is up against the wall. Can the Bruins finish them off?

Boston Bruins v Florida Panthers Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Just the facts

When: 7:30 PM

Where: BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida

How to follow: NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Rival SBN site: Litter Box Cats

Know your enemy

Aleskander Barkov: 26G-51A-76PTS; Vincent Trocheck: 30G-43A-73PTS; Jonathan Huberdeau: 26G-42A-68PTS

Roberto Luongo: 17-11-2, 2.50 GAA, .929 save percentage; James Reimer: 20-14-6, 3.00 GAA, .911 save percentage

Game notes

The final countdown! With Tampa not playing until tomorrow night, the Bruins have a chance to help themselves out with a win against the Florida Panthers. While this could technically be considered the Bruins’ game in hand, Tampa will give it back when they play Buffalo tomorrow night.

Things are far more dicey for the home team tonight than they are for the visitors. The Panthers are five points behind the New Jersey Devils and four points behind the Philadelphia Flyers for the final two playoff spots in the East. Both of those teams have two games left, while the Panthers have three.

A Florida regulation loss tonight coupled with a Philly win against Carolina would eliminate the Panthers, so yeah, the stakes are pretty high for Florida in this one.

The Bruins would like a win to keep the pressure on Tampa, but would probably be just as happy to make it through the game without anyone getting injured. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Anton Khudobin get the start tonight, given Tuukka Rask’s somewhat off-night on Tuesday.

Roberto Luongo’s 1,000th NHL game will be tonight, and it’s a huge one against a team that has tormented him since 2011. However, he can’t do much worse than James Reimer did against the Bruins last time out.

The Bruins haven’t issued a ton of injury updates, other than that Rick Nash and Riley Nash remain out. Sean Kuraly is likely out as well. No one really knows what happened to Tommy Wingels.

There’s a chance there could be some lineup shuffling tonight, but don’t expect a major overhaul.

The Bruins will be playing a desperate team tonight. Can they match Florida’s intensity, or will we see a similar performance to Tuesday’s flop?