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Tampa Bay Lightning at Boston Bruins Preview and Game Day Thread

Can the Lightning end the Bruins record winning streak?

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

Tampa Bay Lightning at Boston Bruins: GAME# 22

Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: TD Garden

Broadcast/Streaming: BSSUN, NESN, ESPN+

Opponent SBNation Site: Stanley Cup of Chowder

DraftKings Line: Boston Bruins -1.5 O/U 6


There isn’t much to really preview here. The two teams met last week and the Lightning found out that taking 20 minutes off can have disastrous effects against the league’s best team. Now they enter TD Garden where the Bruins haven’t lost in 12 games. If you roll it back to last year and include the playoffs the streak is at 19 games. They haven’t lost at home since April 14th, a 3-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators. I guess that just means they’re due.

We will see if the Lightning can carry any momentum from their crazy overtime win against the Buffalo Sabres last night. One thing we do know is that they can’t rely on going 3-for-4 on the power play as the Bruins are currently second in the league with an 84.3% success rate. The Bolts did manage to tally one against them last week there three chances during the 5-3 loss, and they have struggled a bit of late, killing just 65% in the last 10 games, but the game is likely to be won at 5v5.

One thing the Lightning have going for them is that the Bruins aren’t as fast of a team as the Sabres are. Buffalo troubled the Bolts with their speed through the neutral zone and quickness in the Lightning’s end. Boston may have more established talent, but it relies more on skill and playing a heavy forechecking game as opposed to flying through the zone.

If the Bolts stay with their structure and execute their game plan, they can beat the Bruins. However, they have to respect the process, something they got away from on Monday. Blind passes in their own zone and turnovers along the boards aren’t going to cut it against Boston. The Bolts have to support their defense and make sure they are gaining control of the puck in a way where they can have an organized breakout and not just flip it out of the zone.

There is a chance the Lightning will see Jeremy Swayman in net as Linus Ullmark, the winning goaltender in their first match-up has been dealing with an injury. Ullmark was at their most recent practice, but may not be quite ready to return to game action. Expect Andrei Vasilevskiy to be in net for the Bolts. There is a chance Pierre-Edouard Bellemare could return for the Lightning as well, it’ll likely depend on if Coach Cooper wants to run an 11/7 line-up or the more traditional 12/6.

One thing to keep an eye on, with the forwards double-shifting and the fact that the game went into overtime, some of the big guns for the Lightning played quite a bit. Nikita Kucherov (26:00), Brayden Point (25:13), and Brandon Hagel (23:46) all logged minutes way above their season average. On the defensive side Mikhail Sergachev led the unit with 24:55 while Victor Hedman (23:39) was the only other blueliner over 20 minutes.

Expect tonight to be a little tighter of a checking game with fewer offensive fireworks. A stat to keep an eye on, Steven Stamkos is sitting on 998 career points. He could break the 1,000 point barrier in a building that has been something of a personal house of horrors considering he’s broken a nose and a leg in TD Garden. It would also be apropos if he did achieve the milestone in Boston since Patrice Bergeron hit the mark in Tampa.

Comparison chart:

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins (Part II)

Game #22 Tampa Bay Lightning Boston Bruins
Game #22 Tampa Bay Lightning Boston Bruins
Overall Record 13-7-1 18-3
Home Record 7-3-1 12-0-0
Road Record 6-4-0 6-3-0
Goals For 75 85
Goals Against 68 47
xGF 73.64 73.36
xGA 67.04 55.51
PP% 28.1% 29.3%
PK% 77.9% 84.3%
Stats via NHL and Natural Stat Trick

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 - Cole Koepke

Defense Pairings

Victor Hedman - Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev - Nick Perbix

Ian Cole - Zach Bogosian


Andrei Vasilevskiy

Brian Elliott

These lines are assuming PEB is back in the line-up and Coach Cooper goes 12/6

Boston Bruins Potential Lines

Forward Lines

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Jake DeBrusk

Pavel Zacha - David Krejci - David Pastrnak

Taylor Hall - Charlie Croyle - Trent Frederic

Nick Foligno - Tomas Nosek - AJ Greer

Defense Pairings

Hampus Lindholm - Charlie McAvoy

Matt Grzelyck - Brandon Carlo

Derek Forbort - Connor Clifton


Jeremy Swayman

Linus Ullmark

Lines based on Monday’s practice.