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Game 50: Panthers at Bruins

Posted by Kevin Paul Dupont, Globe Staff  January 26, 2011 11:27 AM

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Greetings, blog dawgs. The Bruins, just home from their 2-0 loss to the Kings Monday night in LA, hope to end their pre-All Star Game schedule with 2 points tonight against old friend Dennis Wideman and the Florida Panthers.

Tim Thomas, Zdeno Chara, and rookie Tyler Seguin will wing their way to Raleigh tomorrow for the weekend All-Star festivities at RBC Center.

Thomas, leading the league in save percentage (1.84) and goals-against average (.945) and shutouts (7, tied with NYR's Henrik Lundqvist) is the probable starter tonight. He was the first 'tender to leave the ice after the workout.

Coach Claude Julien must scratch one member of his backline for tonight's tilt. Game-time decision, he said. Mark Stuart was the odd man out for the two games on the road, Denver and LA.

The Bruins this morning ranked third overall in the Eastern Conference, slotted into the No. 3 seed by virtue of their first-place standing in the Northeast Division. Overall, based on points in the standings, they rank No. 5 in the East.


Puck drop: 7 p.m., EST

Record: Bruins, 27-15-7; Panthers, 22-21-5

TV/radio info: NESN (Jack Edwards, Andy Brickley, Naoko Funayama), 98.5 The Sports Hub (Dave Goucher, Bob Beers)

Projected lineup:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Mark Recchi
Blake Wheeler-Tyler Seguin-Michael Ryder
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Steven Kampfer
Dennis Seidenberg-Johnny Boychuk
Andrew Ference-Adam McQuaid

Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask

Healthy scratches: Mark Stuart (based on last game).

Storylines:

Panthers expected to be without veteran blue liner Bryan McCabe, sidelined by a facial fracture he sustained 10 days ago. After taking the puck to his kisser, McCabe ultimately finished the game before starting his extended stay on the sidelines...No significant update on Marc Savard's status. The veteran Boston pivot learned on Monday that he suffered yet another concussion in Saturday's matinee in Denver. Not likely he'll return to action for at least a month....The NY Times reported last week that the NHL again is on track to have some 75 players sidelined this season by concussion. Savard was in the original tally because he was out of Boston's lineup until Dec. 2, sidelined by symptoms he suffered in the aftermath of the concussion he sustained in March 2010...Ex-Bruin Willie O'Ree, the first black player to suit up in the NHL, will be in the house this evening as part of opening puck drop ceremonies....Final game this regular season between Kitty Kats and Bears. Bruins posted Ws in each of the first three games...Next tilt at the Vault: next Thursday vs. Dallas, the club that started life in Minnesota and once dealt the Bruins Jon Casey and the Amazing Technicolor Five Hole. Ex-Boston 'tender Andrew Raycroft is Kari Lehtonen's backup these days in ''Big D''.

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