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Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins preview: A clash of the best in the East

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The Lightning return to Amalie Arena.

Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins: Game 76

Time: 7:30 pm Eastern Time

Location: Amalie Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: Fox Sports Sun

Opponent SBNation Site: Stanley Cup of Chowder

Preview

The Tampa Bay Lightning returning to Amalie Arena for their final homestand this regular season. The Lightning have won five of their last six games against the Bruins, including four games in Playoffs. This will be their third meeting this season and the two teams will meet again in the regular season finale.

After their win against the Florida Panthers, the Bruins have clinched a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Bruins are second in the Eastern Conference and also tied with the Calgary Flames for second place in the whole league. They are currently on a four-game winning streak and have scored 17 goals in their last three games. That’s a great achievement, given that the Bruins are missing a lot of players from their roster.

Sean Kuraly will miss the rest of the regular season and probably some playoff games due to a hand injury. Marcus Johansson is recovering after a lung contusion, but practiced on Sunday morning with the team and will probably be a game-time decision tonight. Torey Krug also missed the last three games, but participated in yesterday’s practice, wearing a non-contact jersey. On the other hand, David Pastrnak has returned to the lineup after missing more than a month and played in every game of the Bruins road trip.

No updates to the Lightning lineup are expected. Anton Stralman and Dan Girardi both missed the last eight games and there’s no need to rush their recovery. Jan Rutta has been a serviceable replacement so far and Mikhail Sergachev is looking good on the first pair.

Yanni Gourde will miss the second and final game of his suspension for an illegal check to the head against the Hurricanes and will be back on March 30th against the Capitals. Ryan Callahan will take his spot on the fourth line.

This is the first of the Lightning’s last two at home games this regular season. After tonight’s game, the team is going to have four days off before entering their final week or regular season play. During this week, the Bolts will play the Washington Capitals, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens and the Bruins again. Four of those five teams are potential playoff opponents.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Forwards

Ondrej Palat - Steven Stamkos - J.T. Miller

Tyler Johnson - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Mathieu Joseph

Adam Erne - Cedric Paquette - Ryan Callahan

Scratched: Danick Martel
Suspended: Yanni Gourde

Defense

Victor Hedman - Mikhail Sergachev

Ryan McDonagh - Eric Cernak

Braydon Coburn - Jan Rutta

Injuries: Anton Stralman, Dan Girardi


Goalies

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Louis Domingue

Boston Bruins

Forwards

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - Marcus Johansson

Danton Heinen - Charlie Coyle - Karlson Kuhlman

Joakim Nordstrom - Noel Acciari - David Backes

Defense

Zdeno Chara - Charlie Mcavoy

Steve Kampfer - Brandon Carlo

John Moore - Connor Clifton

Goalies

Tuukka Rask

Jaroslav Halak

Injuried: Sean Kuraly, Torey Krug, Matt Grzelcyk