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Tampa Bay Lightning at Boston Bruins preview: Building off a huge Game 3 win

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Everything seemed to go in the Bolts’ favor in Game 3. Will it today?

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Tampa Bay Lightning at Boston Bruins Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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

Preview:

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

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

Victor Hedman - Zach Bogosian

Braydon Coburn - Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev - Kevin Shattenkirk

Luke Schenn

Injured: Jan Rutta, Ryan McDonagh

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

Jack Studnicka, Karson Kuhlman

Defense Pairs

Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy

Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo

Matt Grzelcyk - John Moore

Jeremy Lauzon

Goaltenders

Jaroslav Halak

Dan Vladar