Boston Bruins at Tampa Bay Lightning: ROUND 2, GAME 5
Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time
Location: Scotiabank Arena
Broadcast/Streaming: NBCSN, SN, SUN, FS-O, TVAS
Opponent SBNation Site: Stanley Cup of Chowder
It wasn’t necessarily an easy path to get here, but the Tampa Bay Lightning are once again back in the same position they had in Round 1 — up 3-1 in the series with a chance to dispatch the Boston Bruins for good. After a shaky start to Game 1, the Bolts built off an overtime Game 2 win and rode the momentum to dominant wins in Games 3 and 4. Now, the question remains: can they close out this series tonight?
The Lightning have looked like the stronger team for most of this series. Their forecheck has been dominant, they finally got their powerplay going, and they’ve been able to capitalize on lucky chances. The one area they’ve sort of struggled in is the penalty kill — Boston has scored on the powerplay at least once in every game. It makes staying out of the box even more critical.
The Bruins were fairly undisciplined in Game 4 and while they might clean some things up for Game 5, the Lightning should still expect the heavy, hard-hitting style they play dialed up a notch. Tampa Bay was lucky that Yanni Gourde didn’t sustain a significant injury on the late hit he took from Nick Ritchie. Although there doesn’t appear to be any additional discipline coming Ritchie’s way, it was a testament to the Lightning’s composure not to let their own tempers run out of control.
Andrei Vasilevskiy has been superb in this series, while Jaroslav Halak (and Dan Vladar) have faltered as the series has progressed. It would be within the Lightning’s best interests to close this series out as quickly as possible, which means a win tonight. If they can stick to their own game and not let the Bruins walk all over them (which did happen early on in Game 4), hopefully they’ll be on the right end of the score tonight.
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
Nick Ritchie - Charlie Coyle - Karson Kuhlman
Joakim Nordstrom - Par Lindholm - Anders Bjork
Jack Studnicka, Sean Kuraly, Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk - Connor Clifton
Jeremy Lauzon, John Moore