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Tampa Bay Lightning at Boston Bruins preview: Bolts look for a second win a row

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Steven Stamkos likely won’t play

NHL: MAR 07 Lightning at Bruins Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tampa Bay Lightning at Boston Bruins: Round Robin Game 2

Time: 4:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Scotiabank Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: NBCSN, SN360, NHL TV, TVAS

Opponent SBNation Site: Stanley Cup of Chowder

Preview:

After beating the Washington Capitals on Monday afternoon in a tight game which was decided in a shootout, the Tampa Bay Lightning are preparing for the second opponent of the round robin – against the Boston Bruins.

In the first official game in several month, the Lightning weren’t perfect, but still showed a solid performance from their top lines even without Steven Stamkos. Andrei Vasilevskiy was also one of the better players on the team, which is a good sign for the upcoming first round of playoffs. Even in a game like this, where the team clearly not performing at 100% of their potential, the Bolts managed to control two periods of the game.

According to the lines from the yesterday’s practice, big changes are not expected to the Lightning roster. Stamkos has participated in practice but separately from the others and won’t play tonight, however Jon Cooper is still hopeful that the captain will be ready for Game 1 of the next round. Vasilevskiy will get another start for the Lightning, but as Cooper stated before, he would like to see Curtis McElhinney playing at least one period in one of two remaining games of the robin round, though it’s not clear in which one.

Jan Rutta has practiced with Victor Hedman on the first line which could be an indication that a Czech defenseman will get a first official start since suffering an injury in February. This also means that Zach Bogosian will sit tonight’s game out, after debuting in a first postseason game of his career on Monday afternoon.

Meanwhile the Boston Bruins clearly haven’t returned to the action in very good condition. They’ve lost the first two games, including the exhibition games against the Columbus Blue Jackets and the first round robin games against the Philadelphia Flyers, with a same score 4-1. After missing a game against the Flyers, Tuukka Rask will return to the net for tonight’s game to replace Jaroslav Halak, who definitely didn’t have a successful game on Sunday.

The Lightning won the regular season series against the Bruins this year, defeating them in three games out of four, however one of them was finished in overtime and another one was decided by just one goal. The last game between these team also resulted in a big brawl, involving lots of players from both teams.

After the first games of the round robin the Lightning and the Flyers are at the top of standings in the East with two points each, however the Lightning are officially at first place due to having a better points percentage from the regular season. The Bruins are at the bottom with zero points before tonight’s game.

https://www.nhl.com/stanley-cup-qualifiers

Tampa Bay Lightning

Forward Lines

Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Tyler Johnson

Barclay Goodrow - Yanni Gourde - Blake Coleman

Patrick Maroon - Mitchell Stephens - Cedric Paquette

Defense Pairings

Victor Hedman - Jan Rutta

Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev - Kevin Shattenkirk

Braydon Coburn - Zach Bogosian

Goaltenders

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Curtis McElhinney

Boston Bruins

Forward Lines

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - Jack Studnicka

Anders Bjork - Charlie Coyle - Karson Kuhlman

Joakim Nordstrom - Sean Kuraly - Chris Wagner

Defense Pairings

Charlie McAvoy - Zdeno Chara

Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo

Matt Grzelcyk - Jeremy Lauzon

Goaltenders

Tuukka Rask

Jaroslav Halak