National Hockey League
Preview
Florida at Boston
When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts


The Boston Bruins can go a long way toward nailing down an eighth consecutive postseason berth when they host the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night. The Bruins have won two in a row following a six-game losing streak (0-3-3) to move three points clear of Ottawa for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference. Boston is also trying to hold off the Panthers, who are sitting four points behind the Bruins as they make the final stop on a five-game road trip.

Boston snapped out of its funk with a decisive victory over the Metropolitan Division-leading New York Rangers on Saturday and followed it up with a 2-1 overtime win at Carolina 24 hours later. Florida did the Bruins a favor with a 4-2 victory in Ottawa on Sunday to improve to 4-1-1 over its last six games, a span that includes a 2-1 shootout victory at home over Boston on March 21. "We have to win games if we want to be in there and we can't rely on others," Bruins coach Claude Julien said.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Florida, NESN (Boston)

ABOUT THE PANTHERS (35-26-15): Jaromir Jagr scored twice in his first 13 games since he was acquired in a trade with New Jersey, but the future Hall of Famer matched that total with a pair of goals to spark Sunday's victory. “He was our best player,” Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said of the 43-year-old Jagr, who is 11 behind Marcel Dionne (731 goals) for fourth place on the all-time list. "He works hard and competes. He’s playing a lot of minutes and doing a great job for us." Roberto Luongo, who made 26 saves versus Boston 10 days ago, is expected to start.

ABOUT THE BRUINS (38-25-13): Boston got a much-needed lift from its youngsters with David Pastrnak delivering the winning goal in overtime and setting up a tally by fellow rookie Ryan Spooner, who has amassed 15 points in 18 games since his recall from the minors. "In my mind, they've responded well," Julien said of the two rookies. "They still struggle in their own end with coverage and battles, but they also bring a lot on the offensive side." Tuukka Rask, who had to leave Saturday's game due to migraines, returned Sunday with a strong 30-save performance.

OVERTIME

1. Jagr has 33 goals and 96 points in 76 career games versus Boston.

2. Despite the loss on March 21, Rask is 11-1-1 with a 1.05 goals-against average versus the Panthers.

3. Florida has scored three power-play goals and allowed three in the last two games.

PREDICTION: Bruins 3, Panthers 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Florida 35-26-5-10 W1 18-11-0-7 17-15-5-3 6-3-0-2 29-23-5-8 15-6-4-1
Boston 38-25-4-9 W2 22-10-3-4 16-15-1-5 9-2-1-2 29-23-3-7 12-8-1-4
Last Meeting
Florida Boston
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
3/21/15 BOS 1 FLA 2 (SO) 25 26 0-3 27 24 1-3
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Florida D. Bolland 1
Boston P. Bergeron 1
Goals Player  
Florida J. Hayes 1
Boston P. Bergeron 1
Assists Player  
Florida D. Bolland 1
Boston D. Hamilton 1
Saves Player  
Florida R. Luongo 26
Boston T. Rask 24
Season
Total Points Player  
Florida J. Huberdeau 50
Boston P. Bergeron 59
Goals Player  
Florida N. Bjugstad 24
Boston P. Bergeron 25
Assists Player  
Florida J. Huberdeau 37
Boston D. Hamilton 35
Saves Player  
Florida R. Luongo 1565
Boston T. Rask 1746
Quickchart Matchup
Florida Off vs  Boston Def
2.39 GF
2.46 GA
30.8 Shots
29.9 Shots
36 PP
41 PK
Boston Off vs  Florida Def
2.61 GF
2.59 GA
30.8 Shots
29.5 Shots
36 PP
46 PK