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
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.
#tblightning Jon Cooper said Steven Stamkos is not available right now, he's rehabbing. When he's ready, Cooper will let us know. No further updates. "It's pointless to keep asking about it."— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) August 22, 2020
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
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
Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev - Kevin Shattenkirk
Victor Hedman - Zach Bogosian
Braydon Coburn, Luke Schenn
Injured: Jan Rutta
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - Ondrej Kase
Sean Kuraly - Charlie Coyle - Anders Bjork
Joakim Nordstrom - Par Lindholm - Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk - Connor Clifton