Bruins return home for pivotal encounter vs. Panthers

Returning from a six-game road trip for their first home game since March 21, the Boston Bruins host the Florida Panthers in a Saturday afternoon showdown between the top two teams in the Atlantic Division. The Bruins (45-17-15, 105 points) finished the trip with three straight wins, making a statement against a fellow Eastern Conference playoff competitor with a 4-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday. “First place is on the line,” coach Jim

Sluggish Panthers seek better outcome against Senators

The Florida Panthers will look to avoid a third straight loss when they travel to Ottawa to face the Senators on Thursday. Florida (47-24-5, 99 points) fell 5-3 in Montreal on Tuesday night and has lost four of five. The Panthers have just two wins over their past 10 (2-7-1). “I think we gave way too many chances to them to score,” Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov said. “They’re a high-skill team, a fast team. They

Panthers keep bigger picture in view ahead of clash vs. Canadiens

A superb first half of the season has given the Florida Panthers some much-needed wiggle room as they barrel down the stretch. The Panthers will continue their four-game trip with a matchup against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night, five days after clinching a berth in the playoffs. Florida (47-23-5, 99 points) is two points back of the Bruins for first place in the Atlantic Division with seven games left for each team, including a

Auston Matthews, Leafs face Panthers in Atlantic showdown

Auston Matthews will return home as a two-time 60-goal scorer when the Toronto Maple Leafs play host to the Florida Panthers on Monday night. Matthews reached that plateau for the second time Saturday night when the visiting Maple Leafs defeated the Buffalo Sabres 3-0. A large contingent of Leafs fans made the drive to nearby Buffalo. “If you’re not going to get it at home, this is probably second best,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said.

Panthers aim to pick up pace vs. desperate Red Wings

It promises to be a battle between two good, albeit struggling teams, on Saturday afternoon when the Detroit Red Wings visit the Florida Panthers in Sunrise, Fla. The Panthers (46-22-5, 97 points) have clinched a playoff spot. That happened on Thursday. But there wasn’t much joy in that since Florida also fell for the sixth time in seven games (1-5-1) with a 3-2 setback to the New York Islanders. Detroit, which has lost three straight

Panthers, Bruins set to spar atop Atlantic Division

The Florida Panthers, led by newly minted 50-goal scorer Sam Reinhart, will host the Boston Bruins on Tuesday at Sunrise, Fla. Reinhart reached No. 50 on Sunday as he scored twice in a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. In the Panthers’ 30 seasons in the NHL, their only other 50-goal scorer was Pavel Bure, who did it twice. Bure’s franchise record of 59 goals was set in 2000-01. “It’s a number I never thought

Flyers try to pick up steam in encounter vs. Panthers

The Philadelphia Flyers will aim to extend their point streak to four games on Sunday when they host the Florida Panthers. The Flyers (36-26-9, 81 points) answered recent losses to the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins by defeating both clubs this past week. They sandwiched one-goal wins over the Maple Leafs and Bruins around a 3-2 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night. The 3-2 victory over Boston on Saturday afternoon was

Panthers, Rangers match up in chase for top spot in East

Nearly three weeks ago, the Florida Panthers were in the midst of another lengthy winning streak after a 4-2 victory over the New York Rangers. The victory gave them a four-point lead in the race for the most points in the Eastern Conference and now the Panthers are seeing their quality of performance take a dip while the Rangers are ascending. Two teams vying for the most points in the East get together Saturday night

Predators face tall order vs. Panthers in pursuit of franchise-record streak

The Nashville Predators can set a franchise record on Thursday night. But it won’t be easy. The Predators (40-25-4, 84 points), who have a record-tying 15-game point streak, will visit the mighty Florida Panthers (45-19-4, 94) in Sunrise on Thursday. Indeed, as of Wednesday morning, the only team in the NHL with more points than Florida is the Boston Bruins. Nashville, now in its first season being coached by former Panthers interim boss Andrew Brunette,

Panthers out to continue success over rival Lightning

The Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning will meet Saturday in Sunrise, Fla., as part of their continuing battle to establish pecking order among the Sunshine State’s NHL powers. The Lightning, who have won two Stanley Cup titles over the past four years and three in total, finished last season six points ahead of the Panthers in the Atlantic Division standings. The Panthers — who have yet to win a Stanley Cup title — made