The Bruins will be without two key forwards when they continue their road trip Monday night in Sunrise, Fla., against the Panthers.
Boston knew it would be without Brad Marchand, who will serve the fourth game of his five-game suspension for a low hit on Vancouver's Sami Salo. But now the Bruins will also be without Rich Peverley, who left the team on Sunday to return to Boston to attend to a personal matter. He is expected to miss Tuesday's game in Tampa Bay as well, but should re-join the team for Thursday's game in New Jersey.
"Peverley has been excused from our hockey club to attend to some personal matters back in Boston," Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters after the morning skate. "He, in all likeliness, should join us back in New Jersey."
With Peverley out, Zach Hamill will return to the lineup and play on the right side of the third line with Chris Kelly at center and Jordan Caron on the left. Benoit Pouliot remains in Marchand's spot alongside Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin.
The Bruins won't get much sympathy from Florida, which is without forwards Scott Upshall (hip), Jack Skille (shoulder), Sean Bergenheim (groin) and Marco Sturm (concussion). Former Bruin Sturm returned to the ice Monday for the Panthers' morning skate, but was in a non-contact jersey and isn't expected to return just yet.
The Panthers are also without goalies Jose Theodore and Jacob Markstrom, who are both sidelined with knee injuries. Theodore is close to returning, but Scott Clemmensen is expected to get the start in goal on Monday. That leaves the Panthers with a Hockey East flavor in net with former University of New Hampshire standout Brian Foster dressing as Boston College product Clemmensen's backup.
Tuukka Rask was the first goalie off the ice for the Bruins at the morning skate and is expected to get the start for Boston after Tim Thomas started the last two games. Rask posted a 30-save shutout in Boston's 8-0 romp over the Panthers at the Garden in the clubs' last meeting back on Dec. 23.
Brad Meier and Brian Pochmara will be the referees, with Steve Miller and Mark Shewchyk working the lines.
Projected Bruins lines
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Benoit Pouliot-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Jordan Caron-Chris Kelly-Zach Hamill
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg-Joe Corvo
Andrew Ference-Adam McQuaid
Scratches: Brad Marchand (suspended), Rich Peverley (personal reasons), Steven Kampfer
Projected Panthers lines
Tomas Fleischmann-Stephen Weiss-Kris Versteeg
Mikael Samuelsson-Marcel Goc-Tomas Kopecky
Shawn Matthias-John Madden-Michal Repik
Krys Barch-Mike Santorelli-Matt Bradley
Jason Garrison-Brian Campbell
Dmitry Kulikov-Mike Weaver
Ed Jovanovski-Erik Gudbranson
Scratches: Jose Theodore (knee), Keaton Ellerby