March 20, 2015

The Florida Panthers' lackluster road trip cost them the Atlantic Division lead and has them in danger of getting passed by Boston as well.

The Panthers can prevent that from happening in Monday night's visit from the Bruins, and Jaromir Jagr will try to lend a hand while attempting to pass Gordie Howe on the NHL scoring list.

Florida (36-21-8) finished 1-3-1 on its trip with a 5-1 defeat to Arizona on Saturday, dropping two points behind surging Tampa Bay in the division.

"It wasn't a good road trip for us. We should have played better. We didn't have our 60-minute games that it takes to win in this league," coach Gerard Gallant said. "We have got to forget about it and look forward to the next three games at home."

The Panthers return to Sunrise one point ahead of Boston (36-23-7), which is 4-1-1 in six after a 2-1 overtime loss to Washington on Saturday. The Bruins have won nine of 11 on the road.

"I think we're playing better, but there's always room to improve," defenseman Zdeno Chara said. "It's not getting any easier, and we have some tough games ahead of us."

The Bruins have a pair of 3-1 victories over the Panthers this season, including one in Florida on Oct. 30. There could be a little more buzz for this visit with Jagr looking to break his tie with Howe.

The Panthers' leading scorer registered his 1,850th point Thursday with an assist in a 3-2 loss to Colorado. Jagr's 743 goals are third-most in NHL history, 58 fewer than Howe, and he can pass Bruins great Ray Bourque for ninth with his 1,613th game.

Jagr, who played 11 games for Boston in 2012-13 among his many stops, has two assists in his last five matchups. Jiri Hudler has four goals and two assists in his past three meetings, and eight and six in 11 career games against the Bruins.

Boston forward Brad Marchand has four goals in his last three games against Florida, but he's cooled off since a torrid stretch. Marchand has scored one goal in his past four contests after tallying 17 of his career-high 33 in the previous 19 games.

Patrice Bergeron has scored a goal in three straight games. He has four and five assists in his last seven versus Florida.

Tuukka Rask was in the net for the Bruins' two games against the Panthers this season and is expected to start Monday in the opener of a back-to-back.

The Bruins' defense corps might be short-handed with Kevin Miller's status uncertain. He left Saturday's game with an upper-body injury.

"It's really tough. Hopefully he gets back soon," Rask said. "He's been playing great, really solid. He's always been solid defensively, but lately I think he's really improved his game with the puck, finding lanes to pass the puck and score some goals."

Florida forward Jussi Jokinen will try to extend his season-high point streak to eight games. He has eight assists during that run but one assist in his last four contests against Boston.

You May Like

Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)