Bruins vs. Panthers preview: Bergeron is a game time decision

Bruins assistant captain and top center Patrice Bergeron is a game time decision for Tuesday night’s game against the Florida Panthers. According to a release on the Bruins’ website, Bergeron sustained an injury after Monday’s practice that could keep him out of the game tonight.

That decision will not be made until close to game time, but the Bruins did re-call forward Sean Kuraly on an emergency basis. Kuraly, 23, is in his first professional season with the Bruins organization; he spent the previous four years playing for Miami University, proving himself an effective two way forward.

If Bergeron does not play tonight, the Bruins will continue to ice a team that has not been fully available all season. Bergeron missed the first three games of  the season with a lower body injury. David Backes is still day to day while he recovers from elbow surgery. Winger David Pastrnak will serve the second of his two game suspension for a hit to the head on New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi on October 26. Tonight will only be Tuukka Rask‘s fifth game of the season. The Bruins’ morning skate lines looked like this, courtesy of the team’s Twitter account:

Yikes.

While the defense remains unchanged, Boston’s forward group is at the weakest it’s been at all season. Brad Marchand has been fantastic so far this season, but much of the team’s key players are still waiting to catch fire offensively. The Florida Panthers are not off to a great start either, but on paper, they remain a dangerous team in the Atlantic division. For the Bruins to win tonight, they will need centers David Krejci and Ryan Spooner to have breakout games offensively. In their last win, Tuukka Rask was able to shut out the Detroit Red Wings with 24 saves, relying only on one goal from fourth liner Tim Schaller. If Bergeron is out, expect the Panthers to find some holes in Boston’s defense- that will happen when the best defensive forward in hockey is out of the lineup.

Rask has impressed so far this season, but he can not be expected to pitch a shut out each game. An elite goaltender can only carry a team so far. Tonight, the Bruins will need their offensive players to show up.

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