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Ice Breakers: Bruins-Panthers, Thursday 11/12

The Bruins (8-7-2) will look to extend their season-long winning streak to three Thursday night, when they wrap up their short four-game homestand hosting the Florida Panthers (5-9-1) at TD Garden.

While Boston is still looking for a more consistent presence on the offensive end of the ice without scorers Marc Savard and Milan Lucic in the lineup, the team’s defensive performance has been nothing short of outstanding as of late. Boston’s last seven opponents have been held to two goals or fewer, highlighted by two shutouts by Tim Thomas, including Tuesday night’s 3-0 blanking of the Stanley Cup champs, the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Here now, a small handful of stat nuggets about the opponent, the Florida Panthers, a team that is thankful that the Carolina Hurricanes are in their division, otherwise the Panthers would be cellar-dwellers. Florida is a boring team with no stars, plain and simple. Here’s hoping Boston doesn’t treat this as a “trap game,” as this should be a very favorable matchup for the Black & Gold.

  • Boston won 3 of the 4 meetings between these two squads last season, outscoring the Panthers 14-5.
  • Florida will see some reinforcements added back to their lineup this evening, as three Panthers players rejoin the team after treating various injuries. Radek Dvorak, Dominic Moore, and Kamil Kreps are all expected to be back on the ice for the Cats. Still sidelined are wingers David Booth and Nick Tarnasky, who are both on IR with a concussion and broken orbital bone, respectively.
  • Special teams have been far from special for Florida so far this season. Their power play ranks 28th in the league at just 13.1%, while their penalty killing unit sits at 27th, at 74.6%.
  • Florida’s scoring is led by Steven Reinprecht (9G, 5A), followed by Nathan Horton (4G, 7A) and Cory Stillman (3G, 6A). Stillman is currently enjoying a four-game point streak.
  • In net, the Panthers feature #1 goalie Tomas Vokoun (3-8-1, 2.99GAA), backed up by former BC Eagle Scott Clemmensen (2-1-0, 5.13GAA). Clemmensen spent four seasons in Chestnut Hill from ’97 to ’01, leading the Eagles to a 99-35-10 record in his starts there. In the four years while Clemmensen manned the crease, Boston College made it to 3 NCAA championship games, winning 1 over North Dakota in 2001.

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