Boston Bruins at Tampa Bay Lightning: ROUND 2, GAME 4
Time: 12:00 pm Eastern Time
Location: Scotiabank Arena
Broadcast/Streaming: NBCSN, SN, SUN, FS-O, TVAS
Opponent SBNation Site: Stanley Cup of Chowder
Just when we thought we were done with afternoon games, the NHL dropped a revised Round 2 schedule for the remainder of the playoffs. The Lightning and Bruins will play the lone early afternoon game for Game 4.
Going back to Wednesday’s Game 3, which I will admit did not feel right to watch go forward as scheduled, the Lightning got a couple of lucky bounces early and rode that to a statement 7-1 blowout win. They didn’t let up at any point during the rest of the game (although we did see the second unit start powerplays late in the game) and head into today’s game with the series lead.
Given that Games 6 and 7 are back-to-backs, it is critical that the Lightning do not let the series go the distance. They took the lead by sweeping the back-to-back, and they cannot let the Bruins get back into the series. The odds of them repeating a back-to-back sweep are slim, at best.
The biggest positive of Game 3 was the resurgence of the Lightning powerplay. The team exploded for three powerplay goals in six opportunities on the man-advantage after going 0-for-16 during the playoffs. The only change Jon Cooper made was switching Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat around on the first unit, but it paid dividends and hopefully it continues for the rest of the playoffs.
As for the Bruins, they should come back with a vengeance. We saw things get a little out of control as the score continued to increase (see: Tyler Johnson fighting Torey Krug and Charlie McAvoy’s run at Kucherov). They’ve had several days to digest the loss and plan for redemption. The Lightning cannot and should not expect anything less than the Bruins’ best game of the playoffs today. Let’s hope they can keep the momentum going.
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
Victor Hedman - Zach Bogosian
Braydon Coburn - Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev - Kevin Shattenkirk
Injured: Jan Rutta, Ryan McDonagh
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - Ondrej Kase
Sean Kuraly - Charlie Coyle - Anders Bjork
Joakim Nordstrom - Par Lindholm - Chris Wagner
Jack Studnicka, Karson Kuhlman
Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk - John Moore