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Boston Bruins at Tampa Bay Lightning Preview and Game Day Thread

The Lightning are hosting the top team in the league

Boston Bruins v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images

Boston Bruins at Tampa Bay Lightning: GAME# 19

Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Amalie Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: BSSUN, TVAS, NESN

Opponent SBNation Site: Stanley Cup of Chowder

DraftKings Line: Lightning -1.5 O/U6


With a win against the Nashville Predators on Saturday night, the Tampa Bay Lightning extended their winning streak to four games, which is the longest this season for the team so far. To keep it going all they have to do now is beat the Boston Bruins, the strongest team in the league, who won their six previous games and have lost just twice this season.

Tonight’s game is going to be a big test for the Lightning’s defense. The Bruins are one of the best team offensively, scoring 4.11 goals per game on average, which is also the best result in the league. According to Evolving-hockey, the Bruins generate 56.26 xGF% at 5v5 and score 3.13 goals per 60 minutes. Their power play is also quite deadly: Boston ranks fifth in the league with 28.79 PP% and scored 7 power play goals on 16 opportunities over the last four games.

To compound the problem the Lightning’s defense has been struggling this season. The Bolts allow 2.85 expected goals against at 5v5 this season, which is 10th worst result in the league. The Lightning is also conceding precisely one more goal per game than Boston (3.06 GA/G comparing to Boston’s 2.06 GA/G).

Part of the struggle is obviously caused by the departure of Ryan McDonagh, who had been the backbone of the Lightning’s defence in recent seasons. Victor Hedman’s form this season also has been pretty worrisome. The 31-year-old Swede is still playing the toughest minutes on the team, but he’s getting outplayed at even strength with 47.05 xGF% and costs his team -2.7 goals above replacement. He also has just nine points and recently lost his spot on the Lightning’s first power play unit to Mikhail Sergachev. While some of his stats might even seem great for some players, it’s not Victor Hedman we know and love and the Lightning desperately need that version back.

As already mentioned, the Bruins have been the best team in the league in many categories. The team is comfortably leading the Atlantic Division with an eight-point gap to the Toronto Maple Leafs, they’re scoring more than anyone else in the NHL, while allowing fewer goals against than anyone else too. The Bruins are also the only team in the league, which haven’t lost a home game yet.

David Pastrnak is leading the team with 28 (11+17) points in 18 games, which is tied for the third highest result in the league with Nikita Kucherov and Erik Karlsson. Hampus Lindholm, who was acquired by the Bruins at the latest trade deadline, currently leads all Boston defensemen with 18 (4+14) points in 18 games, which is also tied for the fifth best result in the league amongst all defensemen. Goaltender Linus Ullmark is off to a potentially his best career season: he currently leads the whole league in wins (12), save percentage (.937 SV%) and goals against average (1.89 GAA).

The Lightning will play the Bruins twice over the next seven games. In one week the Bolts are heading to Boston to see if they current home record could be broken.

Comparison chart:

Tampa Bay Lightning Vs. Boston Bruins

Game # 19 Tampa Bay Lightning Boston Bruins
Game # 19 Tampa Bay Lightning Boston Bruins
Overall Record 11-6-1 16-2-0
Home Record 6-2-1 11-0-0
Road Record 5-4-0 5-2-0
Goals For 61 74
Goals Against 55 37
xGF 62.79 62.97
xGA 57.49 45.33
PP% 24.7% 28.8%
PK% 79.7% 89.6%
Stats via and

Tampa Bay Lightning Potential Lines

Forward Lines

Brandon Hagel - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Steven Stamkos - Nick Paul - Alex Killorn

Ross Colton - Vlad Namestnikov - Corey Perry

Pat Maroon - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Rudolfs Balcers

Defense Pairings

Victor Hedman - Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev - Ian Cole

Haydn Fleury - Zach Bogosian


Andrei Vasilevskiy

Brian Elliott

Forward Lines

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrňák

Jake DeBrusk - David Krejčí - Taylor Hall

Trent Frederic - Charlie Coyle - Pavel Zacha

Nick Foligno - Tomas Nosek - AJ Greer

Defense Pairings

Matt Grzelcyk - Charlie McAvoy

Hampus Lindholm - Connor Clifton

Jakub Zboril - Brandon Carlo


Linus Ullmark

Jeremy Swayman