Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time
Location: TD Garden
Broadcast/Streaming: NHLN, NESN, SUN
Opponent SBNation Site: Stanley Cup of Chowder
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
Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov
Blake Coleman - Anthony Cirelli - Alex Killorn
Barclay Goodrow - Mitchell Stephens - Tyler Johnson
Patrick Maroon - Cedric Paquette - Yanni Gourde
Injured: Steven Stamkos
Victor Hedman - Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev - Kevin Shattenkirk
Braydon Coburn - Zach Bogosian
Injured: Ryan McDonagh, Jan Rutta
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
Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk - Jeremy Lauzon
John Moore, Connor Clifton