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Tampa Bay Lightning vs Boston Bruins preview: the division leader is coming to Amalie Arena

The Lightning are still trying to close the gap against their opponents

NHL: OCT 17 Lightning at Bruins Photo by John Crouch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Boston Bruins Game 30

Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Amalie Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: Fox Sports Sun

Opponent SBNation Site: Stanley Cup of Chowder


Another big challenge is ahead, as the Tampa Bay Lightning are facing the Boston Bruins tonight at the Amalie Arena. The Bruins are heading to Tampa as the Atlantic Division leader and one of the best team in the league, despite losing four last games.

After beating the Florida Panthers on Tuesday’s night, the Bolts are still at the sixth place in the division with three points behind the Buffalo Sabres and the Montreal Canadiens, sitting at the second and the third places respectively. They still have three games in hand comparing to their closest opponents.

The Lightning are still playing better than many could assume by just looking at the standings. The team have a strong possession numbers and expected goal share at 5-on-5 this season.

No information has been released on Tyler Johnson’s status yet, so it’s easy to assume that Mitchell Stephens is staying with Lightning for couple more games. Against the Panthers, he played just five minutes, mostly with Carter Vergaeghe and Mathieu Joseph who also played less than ten minutes. Jon Cooper also scratched Luke Schenn replacing him with Jan Rutta, who has been rotating lately in the absence of Braydon Coburn. No big changes are expected tonight, unless someone got hurt between the games.

The Bruins are going to play the second leg of their back-to-back games. After having an eight-game winning streak at the end of November, they’ve lost four consecutive games, earning just one point in the overtime loss against the Chicago Blackhawks. Their scoring leaders David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand are still top-5 in points in the whole league, although they’ve also slowed down a little bit — Pastrnak scored just one goal over the last five games.

The Bruins lost the first game of the season against the Bolts in a shootout. During the last season, the Bruins managed to win just once against the Lightning over four games.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Forward Lines

Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Steven Stamkos

Pat Maroon - Cedric Paquette - Yanni Gourde

Mitchell Stephens - Carter Verhaeghe - Mathieu Joseph

Tyler Johnson (injured)

Defense Pairings

Victor Hedman - Jan Rutta

Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev - Kevin Shattenkirk

Luke Schenn (scratched), Braydon Coburn (injured),


Andrei Vasilevskiy

Curtis McElhinney

Boston Bruins

Forward Lines

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - Anders Bjork

Danton Heinen - Charlie Coyle - Brett Ritchie

Joakim Nordstrom - Sean Kuraly - Chris Wagner

Defensive Pairings

Zdeno Chara - Charlie Mcavoy

Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo

Connor Clifton - Matt Grzelcyk


Tuukka Rask

Jaroslav Halak