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Florida Panthers Notebook: Light Crowd in the ATL ... Boston Next

Atlupper ATLANTA -- The Panthers set a franchise record earlier this month when they fired off 55 shots at the Thrashers in what was a 4-3 loss.

Wednesday in the ATL, they could be part of another franchise record.

By the looks of things, the Thrashers will set an all-time low for announced attendance.

By my count, there are 35 people in the lower section right behind the Panthers goal. There are less than 100 people in the five (yes, FIVE) sections of the 300 level behind the Thrashers goal. There might be a couple hundred in the six sections of the other end zone behind Tomas Vokoun.

Atllower If a swarm of conventioners don't show up to take up some of these empties, the Thrashers would eclipse the previous low of 8,461 announced when the Blue Jackets were here not too long ago. Also, this would be the third time this season the Thrashers would set that dubious record (Buffalo, 8820).

The Panthers don't draw all that well either, so save the angry e-mails Atlanta fans. This, however, is depressing. As one scribe just said, it's so empty in here, we could tell that one heckler has a lisp. This is like a Marlins afternoon game in September against the Brewers.

And like the Panthers, the Thrashers have covered up portions of the upper deck. They use curtains here, not sponsored tarps, however.

FAMILIAR FOE

The Panthers visit Boston for the first time this season on Thursday although the team was there not too long ago, beating the Bruins 3-2 in a shootout during the preseason. Florida was 2-0 against the Bruins during the exhibition season – and have been good against Boston the past few seasons.

Florida won both games at TD Garden last season and have won seven of the past 10 games there.

The Panthers will also reacquaint themselves with Nathan Horton (8 goals, 6 assists) and Gregory Campbell (1-3). Those two face their former team for the first time when it counts. Both were drafted by Florida but were traded away this past summer.

-- With the Panthers playing goalie Tomas Vokoun on Wednesday in Atlanta, backup Scott Clemmensen could play against the Bruins. Not only did he stop them in the preseason, but in his career, he's 5-3-0 against the Bruins with two shutouts. One of those shutouts came on April 1 in Boston.

THURSDAY: PANTHERS AT BRUINS
When/Where: 7 p.m.; TD Garden, Boston
TV/Radio: FSNF; 560-WQAM
The series: Panthers lead 30-27-6
The game: The Bruins snapped a two-game losing streak by beating the Devils on Monday night. The Bruins played the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday; Boston is 1-2 in the second game of a back-to-back series. The Panthers are 0-3 in such situations. .-.-. The Bruins haven't been very good at home this season. Boston's 3-4-1 home record is ranked 24th in the league. Coming into Wednesday, the Panthers two road wins were tied for fewest in the league.

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