Slumping Cats

After narrowly avoiding an embarrassing loss, the Boston Bruins look to continue their strong play on the road Thursday night when they visit the slumping Florida Panthers, a team they have only beaten once in the last eight meetings.

Oddsmakers from have made Florida -125 money line favorites (NHL Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 5.5 goals (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 63% of bets for this game have been placed on Boston +115 (View NHL Bet Percentages).

The Bruins (30-23-6), who are tied with the Philadelphia Flyers for seventh in the Eastern Conference, squandered a two-goal lead in the final 63 seconds of the third period Tuesday, but were able to recover when David Krejci scored the winning shootout goal to clinch a 3-2 win at Carolina.

"For 59 minutes, I thought we played some pretty good hockey," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "It's unfortunate that some mistakes at the end ended up hurting us, as far as going into overtime and into the shootout. We had our best players out there, and they didn't do the job in that last minute."

Overcoming the last-minute collapse helped Boston improve to 2-0-1 during its five-game road trip. The team has been strong on the road all season, going 16-10-3 to tie Ottawa and the Flyers for second in the East with 35 points.

"This team is growing. We're coming together," said Bruins center Marc Savard, who had a goal and an assist Tuesday.

Savard has been outstanding on the road, getting 35 of his league-leading 52 assists and 43 of his team-high 66 points. He has only been held off the scoresheet in four games away from Boston, and has four points in the last two games.

Savard has tallied 22 assists and 29 points in his last 21 games against Florida (27-29-6), including 12 points in 10 games at Sunrise, Fla. He assisted on two goals - both by Zdeno Chara - in the last matchup there a 4-3 victory Nov. 29 that snapped a six-game slide to the Panthers.

Savard notched another assist and Chara scored another goal in the following meeting on Feb. 9, but the Bruins lost 6-3 at home despite outshooting Florida 41-27.

Tim Thomas, who had 45 saves and another in the shootout on Tuesday, gave up all six goals in that loss. He is 1-5-1 with a 4.86 goals-against average in seven career games against the Panthers.

The All-Star netminder, though, has been solid over his last five road starts, going 4-0-1 with a 1.75 GAA and a .946 save percentage.

The Panthers are coming off their own third-period meltdown, wasting a two-goal lead by allowing three goals in the final stanza - two in the last 3:20 - to fall 3-2 at Pittsburgh for their fourth loss in five games.

"We stuck to our game plan early and often and were doing the little things correctly," Panthers defenseman Bryan Allen said. "But for whatever reason, we're kind of almost scared out there to play confident and stick to the system, and we turned the puck over and missed assignments and then the puck is in the net a few times."

The Panthers could use some more production out of captain Olli Jokinen, who has only one assist in the last four games since having his skate accidentally cut Richard Zednik's carotid artery in a loss at Buffalo on Feb. 10. Jokinen had extended his goal streak to five games in that contest prior to the scary incident.

The center leads the team with 29 goals and 59 points, and has seven goals and eight assists in the last eight games against Boston.

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

More NHL Hockey coverage from

 - NHL Hockey news wire
 - NHL top stories
 - Current NHL injuries
 - NHL Hockey schedule
 - NHL Hockey standings
 - NHL goalie stats
 - NHL Hockey scoreboard
 - NHL Hockey odds
 - NHL public betting charts
 - Expert NHL Picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for daily newsletter
 - NHL Home

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Red-hot Florida faces off with Los Angeles Buoyed by the return of two key forwards, the Panthers have reeled off three consecutive victories. Can Los Angeles put an end to...
Thumbnail Two scorching squads meet on Long Island In recent weeks, the Rangers have cemented their reputation as the NHL’s most formidable road team. But can Alain Vigneault’s crew fend off a suitably...
Thumbnail Detroit enters dicey matchup vs. St. Louis The Blues are familiar with facing peril in 2016-17. Fortunately, they’re nowhere close to Detroit’s dire straits.
Thumbnail Rangers vs. Blue Jackets Prediction Will tonight's Rangers and Blue Jackets matchup be high-scoring for bettors when the two teams clash at 7:30PM ET?
Thumbnail Stars vs. Predators Prediction Will the over cash this evening when the Predators host the Stars at 6:00PM ET?

NHL Headlines

NHL Team Pages