The Boston Bruins look to make their push for the playoffs a littler easier with a win tonight against the Florida Panthers. Last night they failed to get any further ahead, as they were unable to defeat the Washington Capitals, losing by a score of 3-0. There are only a handful of games left as many teams are clumped around the final playoff spot. It doesn’t look like anything is going to be completely decided until the last games of the season. The Red Wings had a chance to lock down a spot with a win and Senators loss a couple of nights ago. The Wings did their part with a 3-2 win against the Hurricanes, but the Sens came back from three goals down to beat the Penguins 4-3 in overtime. Huge win for the Senators and it is going to come down to the last two games of the season for the Wings. There are going to be some brand name teams playing with low seeds in the Eastern Conference this season. You may have the Bruins, Wings, and Penguins all playing with higher than a 5 seed. How the tables have turned. But I wouldnt discount any of them. I have a feeling at least one will win their first round series. Not even sure you’ll be able to call it big upsets.
The Panthers are going to find themselves unfortunately watching the playoff from hoe. A great effort from the Panthers this season, but it just wasn’t enough to keep pace with the rest of the contenders in the East. In any case it was a step in the right direction for them and itll be something for them to build off for next season. They had an amazing first-half of the season, but the Panthers were unable to keep up later on. The addition of play-makers in the offseason will be a welcome addition to the Panthers next season, as they lacked that this year. Add an offense and I see them playing in the playoffs next season.
Boston Bruins @ Florida Panthers
The Bruins didn’t play their best hockey last night, but note they were on a five game win streak before then which has put them in a good position to make a final playoff push. The defense and Rask have been playing much better. For the greater part of the season the defense haven’t been the regular Bruins we are accustomed to seeing, which is why we are talking about them fighting for the playoffs and not getting ready for them instead. But with their improvements lately, they may be just fine in the playoffs if they make it and continue to play like this. Offensively they haven’t been all there, not scoring more than 3 goals in any of their last six games during this run. But see that, they are 5-1 in those games. Offense isn’t what propels them, it is solid goaltending from Rask and letting the game come to the defense. In their six games they’ve averaged only 1.6 goals per game. Imagine that, 1.6 goals a game and 5-1. But that same stretch yielded 1.5 goals against for only 3.1 goals scored per game in total in their games.
The Panthers have played to only two OVER wins in their last ten games. They have been offensively deficient as a team this season and will need to address that part of the equation in a few weeks. The Panthers have scored only 2.39 goals per game, but a strong season from Roberto Luongo put them in a position where they were able to at least think about the playoffs. There have been only two games that have gone OVER in the last ten meetings between the Bruins and Panthers. We suspect a low scoring game that produces another UNDER winner.