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Ice Breakers: Bruins-Panthers, Thursday November 18th

The Bruins (10-5-1) return home tonight to host former Bruin Dennis Wideman and the Florida Panthers (8-8-0) at TD Garden. Tonight marks the first of four meetings between the two squads.

Both teams were on the winning end of one-goal games last night. For Florida, they took a 2-1 victory over the Thrashers in Atlanta, while the B’s edged the Rangers, 3-2 at Madison Square Garden.

We’re just hours away from the opening puck drop, so let’s get right to some pregame notes to quench your hockey thirst…

  • These two teams split their four games last season, with the road team winning all four matchups by one goal.
  • Florida has had very good luck at TD Garden lately, winning nine of their last 12 games in the Hub of Hockey.
  • The Panthers are the only team left in the NHL yet to play into overtime. All 16 of their games thus far have ended in regulation.
  • This will of course mark the first meeting between these two teams since the big off-season trade that sent Dennis Wideman and a first-round pick to Florida in exchange for Gregory Campbell and Nathan Horton. Wideman is among the team’s point leaders, with a pair of goals and eight assists, while Horton leads the B’s with 15 points.
  • Just ahead of Dennis Wideman on Florida’s points leader list is center Michael Frolik, who leads the way with 11 points (4G, 7A). Tied with Wideman at 10 points a piece are forwards Marty Reasoner (3G, 7A), David Booth (5G, 5A), and defenseman Bryan McCabe (1G, 9A).
  • Another former Bruin, Byron Bitz, will be out of action tonight as he’s recovering from recent sports hernia surgery. Also missing tonight’s action will be forward Steve Bernier, sidelined with a broken orbital bone.
  • The crease for Florida is manned by the pair of Tomas Vokoun (7-5-0, 2.41GAA) and Scott Clemmensen (1-3-0, 3.18GAA). It’s anyone’s guess who we’ll see in goal tonight, as Vokoun made the start last night in Atlanta. Similarly, Tim Thomas got last night’s start for Boston, so it’s possible we see Tuukka Rask in goal tonight for the B’s.
  • Lastly, with Tyler Seguin scoring a crafty, unassisted goal in last night’s win over the Rangers, I thought it’d be a good time to check in on a “tale of the tape,” between Seguin and his draft day rival, Edmonton’s Taylor Hall. With Seguin’s goal last night, he evened the point total of his counterpart, each now having seven points on the year. Hall has one less goal but one more assist than Boston’s highly touted rookie, but Seguin has a distinct edge in plus/minus, with his -1 trumping Hall’s -8.

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