That certainly was reflected in the trade made on Thursday.
The Bruins continue to load up for what they hope is a deep playoff run as they acquired Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway in exchange for Craig Smith as well as a first, second and third-round draft pick.
The trade was announced not long before the Capitals played host to the Anaheim Ducks — and sustained their sixth consecutive loss as the Ducks rolled 4-2.
By making the move, the Bruins add a pair of veteran players who make Boston an even bigger threat come the postseason.
”We were trying to attack in two different areas and I think both Dmitry and Garnet bring some attributes that will complement our group,” Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said per Boston Hockey Now.
“So hope we stay healthy and try to take a run and play our best hockey at the most important times. It’s a hard path to get in [to the playoffs] and it’s an even harder path to go on a run.”
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW
It has been a long road back for Anthony Duclair but he makes his season debut for the Florida Panthers on Friday night against the Sabres.
For the Panthers, who probably will not be players at the NHL Trade Deadline, adding a 30-goal scorer like Duclair is about as big a move as they could hope to make.
While Duclair is back, both Sasha Barkov and Sam Bennett will not play tonight due to lingering injuries. Grigori Denisenko and Zac Dalpe have been recalled from Charlotte.
- The Panthers sent Spencer Knight down to the AHL on Wednesday in order to get some playing time and get rid of some of that rust which has been accumulating.
- UPDATE: Knight will not be going the Checkers as his reassignment has been canceled as he steps away from the team to deal with a personal issue.
- To make room for Duclair, the Panthers placed Chris Tierney on waivers. Well, like Rudolfs Balcers, Florida lost him. Tierney gets to stay in the show as he is headed to the Montreal Canadiens.
- Carter Verhaeghe had himself another big game for the Panthers on Monday as he scored his 30th goal of the season. He continues to have a career season in each year since joining Florida in 2021.
- Givani Smith was struck with a puck in the face on Monday and will not play on Friday. Paul Maurice did not rule him out for Tuesday in Tampa, however.
- New video from Duclair, Maurice and Sam Reinhart is up on the FHN YouTube Channel. You can click the embedded videos below or click RIGHT HERE to see everything all in one place.
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NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW
The Detroit Red Wings continue their ascent up the Eastern Conference standings as they pulled into a tie with the Panthers for the second wild card spot with their 4-1 win over the Rangers on Thursday.
Because the Wings have played four fewer games than the Panthers, well, that playoff spot technically belongs to them.
The Wings have won seven of their past eight.
Speaking of wings, Buffalo beat the Lightning in overtime last night so it comes into tonight’s game two points back of Florida. With games in hand as well.
- Funny, but the Panthers do not seem to be too worried about the Capitals or the Pittsburgh Penguins right about now. The Penguins got smoked at home by the Oilers on Thursday as they have lost four straight and five of six.
- Sean Couturier, a huge piece of the Philadelphia Flyers, continues to skate after two back surgeries.
- Don’t look now, but with the Jets struggling, the Colorado Avalanche see an opening in the Central.
- Patrick Marleau is in talks to rejoin the San Jose Sharks organization.
- The Los Angeles Kings fail to hold their lead against the Devils.
PANTHERS ON DECK
BUFFALO SABRES AT FLORIDA PANTHERS
- When: Friday, 7 p.m.
- Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida; ESPN+
- Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- Season Series (Florida leads 2-0): Panthers 4, Sabres 3 (Oct. 15); Panthers 4, Sabres 1 (Jan. 16)
- Last season: Florida won 3-0
- All-time regular season series: Florida leads 53-44-8, 4 ties
- Up Next for the Panthers: Feb. 28 at Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.