Boston fought hard for its narrow margin victory over Tampa Bay last night, but after overtime and shootouts they secured both points. The Bruins should have an easy time against the Panthers, whom they already defeated this season 4 times, with each of those triumphs coming in overtime.
Odds: Winner Sports 2.00
Robert Luongo was brilliant in the net in the first game since his return, but he faced weak opposition and didn’t have to deflect too many shots. This won’t be the case tonight when the Bruins come to town and past performance is hardly encouraging. Boston won all four games and scored 17 goals in the process while allowing just 6 and Florida was only once close of pushing the match into overtime.
Florida’s backline looks much stronger than it was before the Olympic break even though the only real addition is Luongo. The Panthers are not going to make the playoffs regardless of how well they play in the remaining rounds, but what they try to do is to build a competitive team for 2014-2015. Finding a way around Tuukka Rask tonight is going to be a challenge, but Boston failed to properly protect their goalie last night, so the Panthers have a chance. On the other hand, they need to pay attention to what happens in their own end, where Jesse Winchester and Dmitry Kulikov are the only quality forwards.
Florida have home ice advantage but it won’t help them much against the hottest team in the Eastern Conference. Punters on the other hand, will enjoy even odds with Winner Sports if they choose to back Boston to win in regulation time, which is arguably the best choice for tonight’s NHL action.