Noel Acciari excited to return home, face Bruins as member of Panthers


Noel Acciari will return to TD Garden Tuesday night as a member of the Florida Panthers, and the Johnston, R.I. native is pretty excited. 

"I'm excited to be here. A different side, but still excited to be back. Expecting a really good game," Acciari said, according to's Eric Russo. "We'll see what happens. There's still a couple more things for me to go over to see if I can play, but if I can, it's gonna be very exciting. It will be fun for me. It will be different, that's for sure.

"Boston and New England is what I knew, but I had a great opportunity here in Florida. I thought it was the best opportunity for me and my family. I thought it was the next step in my career and I'm happy with my choice."

The grinder has missed the past three games for the Panthers with a lower-body injury, and head coach Joel Quenneville is looking forward to getting the gritty 27-year-old back in the lineup.

"He's been a real good fit for us right from the outset," Quenneville said, according to's Jameson Olive. "He's a real good pro. He does everything you'd expect or want. He came from a real good organization, as far as doing things the right way."

And what exactly does Acciari do right? Quenneville detailed why the fourth-liner has been so reliable for his squad. 


"He's technically sound and has that responsibility and takes pride in being a defensive-type of guy," Quenneville said. "He takes a lot of D-zone faceoffs, kills penalties and blocks shots. He has scored some key goals for us as well. I think the priority for him and for us is to get those [tough] assignments."

Acciari isn't the only former Bruin returning to Boston Tuesday. Frank Vatrano, also a New England native, will take the ice in his third season with the Panthers. Brett Connolly, who spent 2014-16 with Boston, also will suit up. 

The B's will be looking to snap a three-game skid by grabbing two points at the Garden against a new-look Panthers squad. 

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