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Tampa Bay Lightning at Boston Bruins preview: Bolts seek revenge after Tuesday’s loss

Another meeting between the Atlantic Division leaders

NHL: MAR 03 Bruins at Lightning Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tampa Bay Lightning at Boston Bruins : GAME 68

Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: TD Garden

Broadcast/Streaming: NHLN, NESN, SUN

Opponent SBNation Site: Stanley Cup of Chowder

Preview:

Four days since the last meeting, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Boston Bruins will face off again, this time in Boston. The Bolts will try to take revenge after a very disappointing loss on Tuesday night, when they were outplayed by a team from Boston.

The Lightning are coming for tonight’s game with a little bit better mindset. On Thursday, they shutdown the Montreal Canadiens, showing probably the best performance in past couple of weeks, since the winning streak ended. Andrei Vasilevskiy, who played several games with a save percentage below .900 also bounced back and posted two solid games, including a shutout against the Canadiens.

There was hope that Ryan McDonagh would be available for tonight’s game, but per Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns, he started a practice on the same pair with Luke Schenn which indicates that he isn’t ready yet.

Just like the Lightning, the Bruins have defeated their opponent in the only game after their last face-to-face meeting. On Thursday, they won against the Florida Panthers and boosted their point total to 98 points. If the Bruins defeat the Lightning tonight, they will become the first team to reach the 100-point mark this season.

If the Lightning win, they will cut the deficit to seven points with one game in hand. But let’s be realistic, with 15 games left in the season, the chances to catch the Bruins and secure the home-ice advantage for their potential matchup in the second round are very small. The Bruins so far haven’t shown any signs of slowing down and enter the last month of the regular season with just two losses in latest 11 games. On the other side, the Lightning have a very difficult schedule ahead of them, including a road trip to Western Canada and games against teams which are still battling for the playoff spot.

Tonight’s game is a first leg of back-to-back set. Tomorrow, the Lightning are heading to Detroit. In the last game of a three-game round trip, the Lightning will take on the Toronto Maple Leafs, their most likely opponent in the first round of playoffs.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Forward Lines

Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Blake Coleman - Anthony Cirelli - Alex Killorn

Barclay Goodrow - Mitchell Stephens - Tyler Johnson

Patrick Maroon - Cedric Paquette - Yanni Gourde

Carter Verhaeghe

Injured: Steven Stamkos

Defense Pairings

Victor Hedman - Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev - Kevin Shattenkirk

Braydon Coburn - Zach Bogosian

Luke Schenn

Injured: Ryan McDonagh, Jan Rutta

Boston Bruins

Forward Lines

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak

Nick Ritchie - David Krejci - Ondrej Kase

Jake DeBrusk - Charlie Coyle - Chris Wagner

Sean Kuraly - Par Lindholm - Joakim Nordstrom

Anders Bjork, Anton Blidh, Karson Kuhlman

Defense Pairings

Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy

Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo

Matt Grzelcyk - Jeremy Lauzon

John Moore, Connor Clifton

Goaltenders

Tuukka Rask

Jaroslav Halak