(SportsNetwork.com) – The Boston Bruins will continue to try and put a slow
start to the season behind them as they aim for a third straight victory on
Tuesday night in a matchup with the Florida Panthers.
The Bruins lost four of their first six games, but have since won five of
seven despite the loss of defensemen Zdeno Chara, Kevan Miller and Torey Krug
Boston forward David Krejci was then unable to play in Saturday’s opener of a
four-game homestand against the Ottawa Senators due to an undisclosed injury,
but Matt Fraser stepped into the lineup and scored twice in a 1:28 span in the
second period to key a 4-2 win.
Fraser had been a healthy scratch the previous five games and netted his first
two goals of the season.
“He certainly didn’t miss his opportunity tonight,” Bruins head coach Claude
Julien said of Fraser. “I thought the effort was really good.”
Fraser could stay in the lineup tonight as Krejci did not practice on Monday
and is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury. Krejci has three goals and nine
points in nine games this season.
Brad Marchand and Dennis Seidenberg added goals on Saturday, Carl Soderberg
tallied two assists and Tuukka Rask made 27 saves.
The Bruins are trying to win three in a row for the first time this season and
have won eight straight, 10 of 11 and 16 of their previous 19 meetings with
Rask is 10-1-0 against them with a 1.08 goals against average, .964 save
percentage and three shutouts in 11 starts.
Florida has dropped six straight and eight of its past nine in Boston, but
comes in riding a six-game point streak. The Panthers are 4-0-2 over that span
and have won two straight following a 2-1 decision over the Philadelphia
Flyers on Saturday.
The Panthers are tied for the fewest goals scored in the NHL with 14 through
nine games — the fewest games played by any club as well — but their 17
goals allowed also tops the league.
Roberto Luongo has been a big part of that as he has given up just seven goals
in his past six starts. He made 36 saves versus the Flyers.
“We battled hard and won some of those battles in front of the net,” said
Luongo. “Those are important to win especially against a team with a lot of
big guys like they have.”
Captain Willie Mitchell scored his first goal with Florida and fellow
defenseman Aaron Ekblad, the top overall pick of the 2014 draft, netted his
first NHL tally.
The Panthers were down five forwards versus the Flyers, with Dave Bolland
missing his fifth straight contest with a lower-body injury. Brandon Pirri,
Sean Bergenheim and Aleksander Barkov also sat out with ailments sustained in
last Thursday’s win over Florida, while Jonathan Huberdeau missed the contest
Huberdeau should play tonight as the Panthers try to extend their first
winning streak of the season.
Luongo is 12-12-0 with a 2.47 GAA and .928 save percentage in his career
Julien will try to lead the Bruins to a victory just two days after signing a
multi-year contract extension with the franchise. He is in his eighth season
behind the bench for Boston and has put together a record of 317-171-65 in 553
games while leading the club to a Stanley Cup championship in 2011.