Boston Bruins at Tampa Bay Lightning: ROUND 2, GAME 2
Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time
Location: Scotiabank Arena
Broadcast/Streaming: NBCSN, SN, SUN, FS-O, TVAS
Opponent SBNation Site: Stanley Cup of Chowder
We probably won’t see back-to-backs in the Stanley Cup playoffs after this year, but these are different times. The Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins will play the first half of a back-to-back tonight and the last thing the Lightning will want to do is emerge from these two games in a giant hole down three games in the series.
The Bruins ran the show for most of Game 1, but the Lightning did get stronger and even attempted a comeback as the game progressed. Again, sloppy penalties proved to be costly for the Bolts — as did their invisible powerplay, which went 0-for-3.
Although Ryan McDonagh, who left Game 1 with an injury, didn’t practice yesterday, there is a chance he could get back into the lineup tonight:
Jon Cooper said Ryan McDonagh won't go on the ice for practice today, but a lot of guys won't go on the ice with the upcoming back-to-back. Said they'll have to wait until tomorrow to see if he'll be available for Game 2. #TBLvsBOS #Bolts— Bryan Burns (@BBurnsNHL) August 24, 2020
If McDonagh is unable to go, expect Braydon Coburn to draw back into the lineup. Coburn makes the most sense as a left-handed defenseman. The only other options on the roster are right handed defensemen Luke Schenn and Luke Witkowski. Jan Rutta, another right hander, is unfit to play. Coburn can step in next to Erik Cernak and form a third pair. Kevin Shattenkirk would likely see his ice time increase from the 17:13 he’s averaged over the past five games with him and Mikhail Sergachev becoming the second pair for the Lightning.
Andrei Vasilevskiy will probably start both games of the back-to-back, unless, of course, tonight’s game goes to multiple overtimes. He was solid in the Game 1 loss, but if his play dips, the Lightning are in trouble. At the other end of the ice, Jaroslav Halak was essentially unbeatable to anyone not named Victor Hedman on Sunday, so the Lightning are going to have to get creative in order to get their offensive players going.
Where the Blue Jackets were much more passive and stifling, the Bruins are aggressive at both ends of the ice and the Lightning did struggle to stem the tide at times in Game 1. That has to change if they want tie up this series and eventually win it. This Lightning team is more than capable of doing so, but they have to prove that they are the same team that beat the Bruins three times in the regular season.
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