The Florida Panthers will have their work cut out for them as they open a three-game road trip against the Boston Bruins.
In a rematch of their first-round series last year, the Panthers will be taking on one of the hottest teams in the National Hockey League.
Even with stars Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci retiring and a slew of others leaving via free agency and trae, Boston is still one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.
Through eight games, the Bruins have the best record in the league at 7-0-1.
Even after Carter Verhaeghe’s Overtime Heroics in Game 7 last year, Boston has bounced back stronger.
Perennial MVP candidate David Pastrnak has led the way with eight goals and 13 points to start the season.
Charlie McAvoy has continued to develop into one of the league’s best defensemen with seven points on the season.
Newcomers veteran James van Riemsdyk and rookie Matthew Poitras each have five points.
Boston’s goalie tandem has been as strong as ever as well.
Jeremy Swayman has shined to start the year, going 4-0-0 with a .957 save percentage and a 1.26 goals-against average.
Last year’s Vezina Trophy winner Linus Ullmark is also dominating in net with a 3-0-1 record with a .937 save percentage and a 1.74 goals-against average.
With a roster nearly as deep as the one that helped them to the best record in league history last year, the Bruins are still heavy favorites to go far in the playoffs.
Even without a franchise centerpiece like Bergeron in the fold.
The Bruins have the eighth best odds to win the Stanley Cup at +1400.
But as the Panthers proved last year, a strong regular season means nothing when the playoffs start.
With star defensemen Brandon Montour and Aaron Ekblad returning from injury later this month, Florida will be a formidable Atlantic Division foe regardless of what happens on Monday night.
PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS @ BOSTON BRUINS
- When: Monday, 7 p.m.
- Where: Boston Garden
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida/ESPN+
- Radio: WAXY 790-AM; WBZT 1230-AM (West Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); WCZR 101.7-FM (Treasure Coast); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932; NHL App
- Last Season — Regular Season: Tied 2-2; Playoffs: Florida won 4-3 (first-round)
- This season: @Boston Monday, April 6; @Florida Nov. 22, March 26
- All-time Regular Season Series: Boston leads 60-37-7, 6 ties
- All-time Postseason Series: Florida leads 2-0 (1996, 2023)
- Up Next for the Panthers: @Detroit; Thursday, 7 p.m.