Florida Panthers (21-24-7) at Boston Bruins (32-15-3)
|Date & Time||Tuesday January 28, 2014, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Boston Bruins -231 / Florida Panthers +209 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Panthers look for their second straight victory as they travel to Boston to take on the Atlantic division leading Bruins.
The Panthers were projected to finiah at or near the bottom of the NHL standings this season and while they haven’t necessarily been the most competitive team this year they have certainly exceeded the expectations from many. Heading into Bean Town on Tuesday the Cats sit in seventh place in the Atlantic division and second to last in the Eastern Conference but they’re only three games under .500 and are just seven points back of a playoff spot. Florida has a young team with plenty to look forward to in a couple years’ time as the likes of Aleks Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau are great young players and will certainly be the focal point of a rebuild in Sunrise. The Panthers are likely to land a top draft pick again this season which should put them in a pretty good spot to land another piece to the puzzle as someone like Sam Bennett or Sam Reinhart could be an immediate impact player. Florida heads to Boston tonight looking for spoil the party at the TD Garden with Tim Thomas making his return to the city.
The Bruins continue to be the class of the Atlantic division and are certainly in the mix to land the top seed in the Eastern Conference if they can continue their strong play down the stretch as they trail the Penguins by seven points atop the standings. Boston is playing in a back to back this evening after playing on Long Island yesterday and currently are tied in the second period but returning home will certainly boost their confidence coming into their encounter with the Panthers. Boston welcomes back – warmly or not so much – their former netminder Tim Thomas who retired from the game just a season after leading the B’s to the Stanley Cup championship citing family issues but has since returned to the game with the Florida Panthers. Boston hasn’t missed a beat since Thomas left as they returned to the Cup finals last season with Tuukka Rask in net and that will likely be the matchup we see tonight. While the line is still to be determined I think the Bruins will end up being pretty heavy favourites and while I think they should win I like the total here as I think Thomas will try and show up his old team and as such the game stays under.