NHL

2
Final 1 2 3 Tot
Boston 1 0 1 2
Florida 1 3 1 5
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4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT, November 23, 2022
FLA Live Arena, Sunrise, Florida  Attendance: 17,511

NHL-best Bruins aim to take advantage of Panthers' inconsistency

Boston Bruins at Florida Panthers

  1. The Bruins handed the Panthers a loss in October and have won the last three meetings, which have all been in Boston. The Bruins have also won three of the last four at FLA Live Arena, where they are 19-7-1 since 2007-08.
  2. Boston is in the midst of its first eight-game winning streak since Nov. 19-Dec. 3, 2019. The Bruins are looking to match their 1929-30 squad, the only team in NHL history with 18 wins in its first 20 games of a season.
  3. Charlie McAvoy set up a pair of goals in Monday's win at Tampa Bay. McAvoy is the first Bruins defenseman with eight assists in a four-game span since Ray Bourque from March 23-31, 1996. Boston is 6-0-0 since he returned from offseason shoulder surgery.
  4. The Panthers have surrendered 16 goals during a season-high three-game winless streak, the most they have allowed in a three-game span since March 23-26, 2019 (20). Florida is trying to avoid its first three-game home winless streak since February last season.
  5. Matthew Tkachuk has three goals and five assists during a four-game point streak. He is the second player in team history with 25 points through the Panthers' first 19 games of the season (Aleksander Barkov did it in 2019-20).
  6. Linus Ullmark owns a five-game winning streak and has won 13 of his 14 starts this season. He is the fifth netminder in NHL history to win 13 of his first 14 starts of a season. Only two have won 14 of their first 15: Andrew Hammond in 2014-15 and Ross Brooks in 1973-74.
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

The Boston Bruins, who have the most victories and the highest point total in the NHL this season, will put their seven-game win streak on the line on Wednesday night in a visit to the Florida Panthers in Sunrise, Fla.

Florida, which finished last season with the best record in the league, is off to a mediocre start at 9-8-2.

Boston, an incredible 17-2-0, is coming off a 5-3 win over the host Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday. In that game, Bruins center Patrice Bergeron became just the fourth Boston player to reach 1,000 career points.

Bruins coach Jim Montgomery raved about Bergeron, comparing his ability as a defensive forward to former Montreal Canadiens star Bob Gainey.

"(Bergeron) is just so dedicated to playing the game the right way and helping the team have success," Montgomery said.

Montgomery was brought in to replace coach Bruce Cassidy after the Bruins finished fourth in the Atlantic Division last season and got eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.

The core group of Bruins players is unchanged from the 2021-22 season, making this start all the more remarkable.

David Pastrnak leads the Bruins in goals (12) and assists (17). Bergeron is second in goals (nine), and his 18 points are tied for second with defenseman Hampus Lindholm, who is on pace for a career year.

Starting goalie Linus Ullmark (13-1-0) leads the league in wins and goals-against average (1.96). In fact, he is halfway toward tying his career high in victories, set last year.

Ullmark is keeping alive Boston's recent tradition of stellar goaltending, following Tuukka Rask and Tim Thomas, as the Bruins seek a seventh straight playoff berth.

Meanwhile, the Panthers are still adjusting after making a couple of big offseason decisions, trading away homegrown star Jonathan Huberdeau and bringing in Paul Maurice as coach.

The Panthers also traded valuable defenseman MacKenzie Weegar in that same deal, which brought back power forward Matthew Tkachuk from the Calgary Flames.

So far, it hasn't clicked. The Panthers will enter Wednesday on a three-game losing streak (0-2-1), allowing 15 regulation goals during that span.

Tkachuck has done his part, leading Florida in assists (17) and points (25). Carter Verhaeghe, who scored a career-high 24 goals last season, leads the Panthers with 11 tallies, putting him on pace for a career year.

But some of Florida's other big guns have been somewhat subdued so far, including Aleksander Barkov (four goals), Sam Reinhart (five) and Sam Bennett (five).

Last season, Barkov scored 39 goals, Reinhart had 33 and Bennett netted 28 -- all career highs.

It's been frustrating for the Panthers, who earlier this season had to endure 11 games without their top defenseman, Aaron Ekblad, while starting goalie Sergei Bobrovsky has struggled (4-5-1, 3.62 GAA).

The Panthers are coming off a 5-3 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday. In that game, Florida had 50 shots on goal and still lost despite Columbus putting only 23 on net.

"We've got to get some people in front of the net to score some hard, ugly goals," Maurice said. "We're having a hard time completing plays around the net."

--Field Level Media

Updated November 23, 2022