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Bruins at Lightning Preview

Coming off a six-game road trip and a big win against the Islanders last Tuesday, the Bolts look for success in their first game against the Bruins this season.

NHL: Boston Bruins at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bruins at Lightning: Game 11

Time: 7 p.m. Eastern time

Location: Amalie Arena

Broadcasting/Streaming: Fox Sports Sun

Opponent SBNation Site: Stanley Cup of Chowder

Preview:

So the Tampa Bay Lightning this year have at times looked like Stanley Cup contenders . . . and at other times looked like they were vying for the 2017 1st overall pick.

Okay, well maybe not that bad, but with such high expectations surrounding the Bolts this year, we want to see some consistency. The Lightning currently rank 2nd in the league in penalty kills and 5th in the league in power play goals. And although it’s still early in the season and these numbers won’t solidify until later in the year, you have to love how the special teams have been playing of late.

The Bolts also rank 6th in the league in overall scoring. The only issue with this is once again consistency. Yes, they scored six against the Islanders the other night, however the three games before, they only averaged a goal a night.

The number that is most concerning is that the team is 19th in the league in overall goals against. The Bolts were on the road a lot, and Bishop had some unlucky bounces within the first few games, but it was tough losing 6-1 Rangers.

Often fans like to have a fall guy, someone to blame when the team is doing poorly in their own end. Nesterov has had some shaky play though the season so far, but we can’t dismiss the poor overall team play either.

What the Bolts Need to do in order to beat the Bruins.

The Bruins sit at 5-4-0 and only two points behind the Lightning in the Atlantic Division race. In order for the Bolts to separate themselves from the pack they need fast starts. You’ve heard it before, and if you have watched Jon Cooper’s press conferences for the last few years, it seems like it’s all he talks about. But Tampa Bay needs to buy into the mentality that every shift matters and even as the puck drops for the first minute that attention to detail on defense needs to happen.

The Bruins have a solid penalty kill, yet have struggled on seemingly every other aspect in the game. The Bolts will need to exploit the Bruins defensive failings and utilize the power play. They must also focus on superstar Brad Marchand. And occasionally the Bolts seem to have played a little over-zealously at home games. The Lightning need to relax and find their rhythm in order to come out on top.

Comparison chart

Most recent line information

Tampa Bay Lightning

Forward Lines

Ondrej Palat - Steven Stamkos - Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn - Tyler Johnson - Brayden Point

JT Brown - Valtteri Filppula - Ryan Callahan

Cedric Paquette - Brian Boyle - Vladislav Namestnikov

Defensive Pairings

Victor Hedman - Anton Stralman

Jason Garrison - Andrej Sustr

Slater Koekkoek - Braydon Coburn

Scratch: Jonathan Drouin (upper body)

Goaltenders

Ben Bishop

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Boston Bruins

Forward Lines

Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak

Ryan Spooner – David Krejci – Austin Czarnik

Sean Kuraly – Riley Nash – Jimmy Hayes

Tim Schaller – Dominic Moore – Noel Acciari

Defensive Pairings

Zdeno Chara – Brandon Carlo

Torey Krug – Adam McQuaid

John-Michael Liles – Colin Miller

Goaltenders

Tuukka Rask

Malcolm Subban

Lines will be updated in the gameday thread.