The Bruins set the table for the Senators to knock them into seventh place in the Eastern Conference, falling to the Panthers, 6-2, Thursday in Sunrise, Fla. 

The B's have now lost four straight games, which makes for their longest losing streak of the season. Their lead in the Northeast Division is down to one point, and the Senators will have a chance to leapfrog the Bruins when they host the last-place Canadiens Friday. 

Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters in Florida Thursday that forward Rich Peverley, who has been out since Feb. 15 with an MCL sprain, returned to the ice Wednesday in Boston for the first time since suffering his injury.

Peverley was expected to miss 4-6 weeks at the time of the injury. In 49 games this season, he has nine goals and 29 assists for 38 points.

Julien also said that Tim Thomas will be the starting goaltender Thursday vs. the Panthers. Thomas has played in 10 consecutive games, but has played 20 minutes or less in each of the last two Bruins contests.

NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning with guest hosts Dale Arnold and Steve Buckley. The Bruins were routed Tuesday night by the Lightning, 6-1, their third straight loss.

Well, Bruins fans, it looks like it just might happen. I’ll even venture a guess that it will: The Ottawa Senators will be the Northeast Division champions. 

The Bruins came one step closer to surrendering the Northeast Division lead after getting shelled by the Lightning, 6-1, Tuesday night in Tampa. 

With the loss, the Bruins' third in a row, the B's remain at 83 points -- just two points ahead of the Senators, who will face the last-place Canadiens Wednesday night. 

Of course, there are injuries. 



NHL head disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan joined Dennis and Callahan Tuesday morning, discussing all things NHL and the job he has done in his first season on the job. Shanahan took over for Colin Campbell (father of Bruins forward Gregory Campbell) on June 1. 

Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin was not suspended or fined for his hit from behind on Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk Sunday. Shanahan explained the ruling on the hit, which was called boarding on ice. 

The Bruins recalled forward Trent Whitfield from Providence on an emergency basis Monday. Whitfield joined the team for Monday's practice in Tampa, and will be available for the Bruins Tuesday against the Lightning. 

The 34-year-old Whitfield serves as captain of the Providence Bruins. He has five goals and six assists for 11 points in 41 AHL games this season. 

NESN Bruins analyst Barry Pederson checked in with the Mut & Merloni show Monday to talk about the B's recent struggles

Tim Thomas allowed three goals on 10 shots in the first period of Sunday's loss to the Penguins before being pulled in favor of new backup Marty Turco. Although Thomas' workload has increased since the injury to Tuukka Rask, Pederson said he doesn't believe the 37-year-old is tired.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin will not be suspended or fined for his hit Sunday on Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk. 

Malkin hit Boychuk from behind in the Bruins' zone, causing Boychuk's head to hit the glass above the boards. The ruling on the ice was boarding, which meant a minor penalty for Malkin. Boychuk was slow to get up, though he did stay in the game.