(SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Bruins hope their recent mastery of the
Florida Panthers can help them get back on track when the Atlantic Division
foes meet in Beantown for Thursday's battle at TD Garden.
The Bruins have lost two straight and four of their last five games, but wins
have been easy to come by whenever Boston faces the Panthers. The B's have
claimed four straight, six of seven and 10 of the past 12 meetings in this
series overall and Florida has lost three in a row and five of six on the road
Thursday's tilt is the second of five scheduled meetings this season between
these divisional opponents. Boston posted a 3-2 victory on Oct. 17 in Florida,
as Reilly Smith scored with 58.7 seconds to play to lift the B's. Former
Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas started for Florida in that contest, but the two-
time Vezina Trophy winner won't get a chance to play tonight in Boston due to
a lower-body injury that has him on injured reserve.
Boston is coming off recent setbacks against the New York Islanders and Dallas
Stars, but the Bruins haven't lost three in a row since an 0-4-0 slide from
March 10-15, 2012.
After dropping a 3-1 road decision against the Islanders on Saturday, the
Bruins were dealt a shootout loss by the visiting Stars on Tuesday. Former
Boston forward Rich Peverley scored in the fourth round of the shootout to
help Dallas earn the 3-2 decision at TD Garden.
In the fourth round after David Krejci shot wide of the net, Peverley skated
in on net and buried a wrister between the pads of Tuukka Rask for the win.
Milan Lucic and Torey Krug scored for the Bruins, while Rask turned aside 34
"Not to take anything away from them but I like to think we're a better team
than we showed tonight," said Boston head coach Claude Julien. "We just didn't
play hard tonight and gave them that win."
Tuesday's contest marked the start of a five-game homestand for Boston, which
is just 4-3-1 as the host this season.
While Boston is aiming for its second win in six trips to the ice, the
floundering Panthers are trying to halt a season-worst six-game slide. Florida
has recorded a point four times during the 0-2-4 slide and lost after
regulation in each of its past two tilts.
Florida had a pair of six-game losing streaks during last year's lockout-
shortened campaign, but the club last went seven straight without a win during
a 10-game slide from March 19-April 8, 2011.
After dropping a shootout decision Saturday in Washington, the Panthers lost
in overtime Tuesday against visiting Edmonton. Mark Arcobello scored his first
two NHL goals, the second coming on a power play 1:55 into overtime, to lift
the Oilers to the 4-3 win at BB&T Center.
Florida forward Scottie Upshall forced overtime with a pair of third-period
goals, but tripped Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 32 seconds into the extra session.
Arcobello then planted himself in the left circle and hammered home a feed
from Ales Hemsky to beat Jacob Markstrom for the win.
Markstrom was beaten four times on 27 shots in the loss and Marcel Goc added a
goal and an assist.
"We got into a little giving chances to get chances and that's not the way we
play and that's not the way we play when we're playing at our best," Panthers
head coach Kevin Dineen said.
Thursday's contest kicks off a three-game road trip for the Panthers, who have
lost five straight as the guest and are 1-4-1 away from South Florida this
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