While the Boston Bruins are struggling to find answers on offense, Tuukka Rask has things well under control at the other end of the rink. Rask, who leads the league in goals-against average and is near the top in several other categories, hopes to remain hot when the Bruins try to extend their four-game point streak (3-0-1) against the visiting Florida Panthers on Monday.
Florida Panthers vs Boston Bruins
When: 7:00 PM ET, Monday, December 5, 2016
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
|57||FLORIDA||0 (-110)||5 (-110)||120
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NHL Network, Sportsnet, TVA, FSN Florida, NESN (Boston)
PREDICTION: Bruins 3, Panthers 2
“I feel good,” Rask told reporters after making a season-high 35 saves in the 2-1 victory over Buffalo on Saturday. “I’m seeing the puck well. Guys are doing a great job keeping them on the outside and clearing the rebounds for the most part, so that helps out.” Rask is 16-3-1 in 20 career games against the Panthers, who join Boston in the bottom-third of the league in scoring. Florida is 1-1-1 since general manager Tom Rowe took over as coach for the fired Gerard Gallant and has managed just two goals in regulation during that span. Leading scorer Jonathan Marchessault (10 goals, 19 points) suffered a lower-body injury in the Panthers’ 2-0 loss at Ottawa on Saturday and is day-to-day.
ABOUT THE PANTHERS (12-11-2): Florida ends a tumultuous six-game road trip with the Atlantic Division battle against the Bruins and Tuesday’s contest in Philadelphia after scoring only five times over the first four contests. Vincent Trocheck and defenseman Aaron Ekblad are tied for second on the team in goals with six and Aleksander Barkov trails only Marchessault with 15 points. The Panthers are awaiting the first point of the season from center Nick Bjugstad, who missed the first 19 games with a broken hand.
ABOUT THE BRUINS (14-10-1): Boston has scored fewer than three goals in 18 of its 25 games this season and is 0-for-10 on the power play over the last three contests, dropping to 23rd in the league (14.3 percent) after Saturday’s action. David Pastrnak is among the league leaders with 13 goals – nine of them coming in a 12-game span before notching an assist in each of his last two contests. Matt Beleskey (lower body) left Saturday’s contest and veteran defenseman Zdeno Chara (lower body) could miss his seventh straight game.
1. Florida recalled RW Paul Thompson from Springfield of the American Hockey League on Sunday with Marchessault banged up.
2. Boston LW Brad Marchand leads the team with 21 points, but only six have come in 11 home games.
3. Panthers RW Jaromir Jagr has notched 12 points this season to push his career total to 1,880 – seven shy of tying Mark Messier for second place on the all-time list.