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Boston Bruins at Tampa Bay Lightning preview: There’s never a dull game with these two teams

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A rematch of the 2018 second round.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Boston Bruins Photo by Andre/Ringuette/Getty Images

Boston Bruins at Tampa Bay Lightning: ROUND 2, GAME 1

Time: 8:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Scotiabank Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: NBCSN, SN, SUN, FS-O, TVAS

Opponent SBNation Site: Stanley Cup of Chowder

Preview:

It’s a good thing that the Tampa Bay Lightning managed to wrap up their first round series in 5 games, because not only did they learn their opponent would be the on-fire Boston Bruins, but there was such a quick turnaround between rounds that they were lucky to get a couple of days off to recharge and prepare.

But now, it’s back to work — and the Bruins loom larger than the Columbus Blue Jackets ever did. The Bruins struggled heavily in the round robin — you’ll remember the Lightning survived a late rally from them and won 3-2 — but ever since Tuukka Rask left the bubble and Jaroslav Halak took over in net, Boston has returned to their regular season form and are formidable as ever.

There remains no update on Steven Stamkos, though many fans were hoping he’d be back in time for the start of this series.

Without Stamkos, the Lightning will have to keep digging to find a way to kickstart their struggling powerplay — special teams could be critical in deciding this series.

While the Lightning earned a 3-1-0 record against the Bruins in the regular season, that doesn’t mean much in the playoffs. Things got especially chippy (and out of hand) in the teams’ last meeting of the season (all the way back in March), so it is paramount the Lightning end their spell of taking unnecessary and dumb penalties.

Hopefully Tampa Bay has had some time to break down their god-awful play for 80% of Game 5 and basically forgotten how to play so poorly. They may have survived the Blue Jackets, but the Bruins will eat the Lightning alive if they afford them that kind of opportunity for momentum.

The last time these two teams met in the playoffs was in the second round of the 2018 playoffs. Tampa Bay won that series 4-1, but many expect this series to last much longer — and even go the distance. Get ready for puck drop tonight, Bolts fans. This one should be good.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Forwards

Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Tyler Johnson

Barclay Goodrow - Yanni Gourde - Blake Coleman

Carter Verhaeghe - Cedric Paquette - Patrick Maroon

Mitchell Stephens, Alexander Volkov, Mathieu Joseph

Injured: Steven Stamkos

Defense Pairs

Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev - Kevin Shattenkirk

Victor Hedman - Zach Bogosian

Braydon Coburn, Luke Schenn

Injured: Jan Rutta

Goaltenders

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Curtis McElhinney

Boston Bruins

Forwards

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - Ondrej Kase

Sean Kuraly - Charlie Coyle - Anders Bjork

Joakim Nordstrom - Par Lindholm - Chris Wagner

Defense Pairs

Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy

Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo

Matt Grzelcyk - Connor Clifton

Goaltenders

Jaroslav Halak

Maxime Legace