Boston Bruins at Tampa Bay Lightning Preview and Game Day Thread

Will the Lightning beat Boston for the first time this season?

Boston Bruins at Tampa Bay Lightning: GAME #47

Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: TD Garden

Broadcast/Streaming: BSSUN, TVAS, SNE, SNO, SNP, NESN, Hulu, ESPN+

Opponent SBNation Site: Stanley Cup of Chowder


Before entering their bye-week at the end of this week, the Tampa Bay Lightning have two more very challenging games. Tonight’s game is especially important as the Lightning facing the current leader of the NHL — the Boston Bruins. If the Bolts dream about another long playoff run, which they obviously do, they should also prepare for a potential series against the Bruins, that could most likely happen in the second round.

On Tuesday the Lightning defeated the Minnesota Wild in their first game after returning to Amalie Arena from a road trip. With this victory the Bolts extended their winning streak at home to 10 games. The Lightning’s coaching staff also addressed some of their forward group issues with swapping Steven Stamkos and Brandon Hagel in their top-six. Both new lines were outshot by Minnesota in this game, but at least reimagined Stamkos-Point-Kucherov line managed to end the game with a positive expected goal share and created one goal at 5-on-5. The power play is still struggling though as the Lightning converted just one out of five opportunities during the last game. That was also their first power play goal in the last five games. Due to this slump, the Bolts dropped behind Boston to the third place in the league in power play percentage.

Not much changed for the Bruins since their last meeting with the Lightning — the team is still confidently leading the NHL with a 12-point gap over the second Toronto Maple Leafs. Boston is entering tonight’s duel with a six-game winning streak, during which they had two shutouts and allowed one or less goals in four games. The Bruins also became the fastest team in the league to reach 80 points. The regular season success, however, doesn’t necessarily translate into a playoff success and the Lightning fans probably know about it more than anyone else in the league.

The Bruins also holding the lead in almost every statistical category: they’re still scoring more than almost any team in the NHL (tied with Buffalo Sabres with 3.81 goals per game), while also allowing less than anyone else (2.02 goals against per game). Their power play unit is second in the league with 27.16 PP% and their penalty kill is the best with 86.75 PK. David Pastrnak is having an incredible season and is on pace for career-high 65 goals and 121 points. The same could be said about Linus Ullmark, who has career-best .938 SV% and 1.82 GAA in 30 games this season and therefore one of the main contenders for the Vezina Trophy. Patrice Bergeron might also win his sixth Selke Trophy, but that doesn’t surprise anyone anymore. Boston is also hoping to become even stronger and deeper at the upcoming trade deadline and pushing for a potential Bo Horvat trade with the Vancouver Canucks.

So far this season, the Bruins defeated the Bolts twice: once in Boston and once in Tampa Bay. The Bolts weren’t dominated in any of those games and gave their opponents a proper fight, especially in the game in Boston, but still lacked that something extra to beat the Bruins. To succeed tonight, the Bolts would need to stay focused the whole game and don’t allow too many unnecessary penalties as the Bruins converted 3 out of 5 power play opportunities in two previous games this season.

Comparison chart:

Boston Bruins at Tampa Bay Lightning Game Comparison

Game # 47Tampa Bay LightningBoston Bruins
Overall Record30-15-138-5-4
Home Record18-4-122-1-3
Road Record12-11-016-4-1
Goals For166179
Goals Against13695

Tampa Bay Lightning Projected Lines

Forward Lines

Steven Stamkos - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Brandon Hagel - Anthony Cirelli - Alex Killorn

Vlad Namestnikov - Nick Paul - Ross Colton

Pat Maroon - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Corey Perry

Defense Pairings

Victor Hedman - Zach Bogosian

Mikhail Sergachev - Nick Perbix

Ian Cole - Erik Cernak


Andrei Vasilevskiy

Brian Elliott

Boston Bruins Projected Lines

Forward Lines

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Craig Smith

Pavel Zacha - David Krejci - David Pastrnak

Taylor Hall - Charlie Coyle - Trent Frederic

Nick Foligno - Joona Koppanen - A.J. Greer

Defense Pairings

Matt Grzelcyk - Charlie McAvoy

Hampus Lindholm - Brandon Carlo

Derek Forbort - Connor Clifton


Jeremy Swayman

Linus Ullmark