(SportsNetwork.com) - The good news for the Florida Panthers is they have three games remaining against the team they are chasing for the last wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. The bad news is that team is the Boston Bruins.
The Panthers hope to halt a lengthy losing streak against the Bruins when the clubs meet Saturday at Florida's BB&T Center.
These Atlantic Division clubs have met for just one of their four meetings in 2014-15 and that was back on Nov. 4 in Boston. The Bruins notched a 2-1 overtime decision to win their ninth consecutive game in this series.
Florida's last victory over the B's, who are five points ahead of the Panthers in the East standings, came at home on March 15, 2012. Boston has claimed three straight in Sunrise since then and has won eight of the past nine encounters on the road.
Boston, however, has a bigger problem than the Panthers at the moment, as it finds itself just two points ahead of Ottawa for the last wild card spot. The Bruins lost a 6-4 decision against the Senators on Thursday to get a three- game road trip started on the wrong note.
The B's have lost three straight (0-2-1) on the heels of a five-game winning streak. They were tied with Ottawa 4-4 after 40 minutes, but Bobby Ryan delivered the game-winner for the Sens with 8:32 remaining in the third period. Kyle Turris added an empty-netter in the closing minute to seal the big win for the home team.
Ryan Spooner tallied twice in the loss while Carl Soderberg and Torey Krug added a goal apiece for the Bruins. David Pastrnak contributed two assists, but Tuukka Rask allowed five scores on 31 shots in defeat.
"Disappointed is probably the right word," said Bruins coach Claude Julien. "When you get to those big games, you expect a lot more out of a lot of guys and we didn't get that."
Boston has lost two straight on the road and is 15-14-5 as the guest this season.
The Bruins could get centerman David Krejci back tonight. The centerman has been sidelined since Feb. 20 with a partially torn ligament in his left knee, but he has been practicing with the team.
Florida has won four of its last six games and the club halted a two-game slide with Thursday's 3-1 triumph over Detroit. The contest featured a bit of history, as Jaromir Jagr passed Phil Esposito for fifth place on the NHL's all-time goals list with No. 718 to help the Panthers improve to 1-1-0 on their three-game homestand.
Jagr is 13 goals shy of Marcel Dionne for fourth place and with 1,791 points the 43-year-old Czech is just seven behind Ron Francis on the league's all- time scoring list.
Brandon Pirri and Scottie Upshall also scored and Roberto Luongo returned from a six-game absence to make 25 saves for the Panthers. Luongo made his first appearance since a March 3 loss to Toronto, when he left the game between the first and second periods but was forced back into action after backup Al Montoya was also injured.
"We kept putting pucks on net, guys (went) to the net hard and we got rewarded," said Luongo. "We have to carry that over to the next game."
Luongo is 12-12-1 with a 2.45 goals against average in his career versus the Bruins. Rask, meanwhile, is 11-1-0 with a sparkling 1.07 GAA in 12 lifetime appearances against Florida.