Coming off a gritty 2-1 overtime win over the Ottawa Seantors Thursday night, the Boston Bruins will have another big test as Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning invade the TD Garden today at 1 p.m. The Bruins defeated the Lightning in one of their better performances of the season last Thursday in Tampa.
The Lightning are on the outside looking in of a playoff spot as of today with 19 points in 20 games. They sit two points behind the Winnipeg Jets for that last spot in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins are winners of five straight and have everybody healthy to date.
When these two teams play it is usually a fast-paced and physical game. That should be no different today as the Lightning desperately need points, but look for the Bruins to try to dictate the contest.
After the jump: lineups, more storylines, linkage and tweets of interest
Gametime: 1 p.m.
Location: TD Garden
T.V./Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub
Records: Bruins (13-2-2, 28 points), Lightning (9-10-1, 19 points)
Bruins projected lineup
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Chris Bourque-Chris Kelly-Rich Peverley
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg-Dougie Hamilton
Andrew Ference-Adam McQuaid
Lightning projected lineup
Corey Conacher-Steven Stamkos-Teddy Purcell
Benoit Pouliot-Vincent Lecavalier-Martin St. Louis
Alex Killorn-Tom Pyatt-Nate Thompson
B.J. Crombeen-Brian Lee-Richard Panik
Eric Brewer-Matt Carle
Sami Salo-Victor Hedman
Keith Aulie-Marc-Andre Bergeron
Bruins to watch
Let’s track Nathan Horton this game. Horton recorded two goals in the last meeting and almost netted a hat trick on an empty-netter, but was denied by the post. With seven goals on the year, Horton is starting to find his groove after a slow start to February. Horton lit the lamp versus the Sens and hopes to score for the second straight game against a team he’s historically had success against.
Tyler Seguin is playing great two-way hockey at this point in the season. You can tell he is trying to model his game after Patrice Bergeron. He is all over the ice at full speed all the time. His play making is there-second on the team with nine assists-and his share of goals will come. His teammates know its only a matter of time, and more importantly, he knows he’s due.
Lastly, look for Anton Khudobin. Tuukka Rask has been great lately, but with this brutal stretch coming up and Montreal coming in on Sunday night, Rask needs his rest. Khudobin has been solid in his three starts this season, going 2-1.
Lightning to watch
It goes without saying whenever you play the Tampa Bay Lightning if you don’t know where Stamkos is, you are in trouble. He leads the league with 14 goals and 31 points and already scored a ridiculous goal against the Bruins already this season. Stamkos is one of those players that comes along once in a blue moon. He must be accounted for and he must be stopped if the Bruins want to extend their win streak to six.
He may not be a household name, but ex-Bruin Benoit Pouliot will be returning to the TD Garden for the first time this season. Pouliot is off to a magnificent start tallying six goals and eight assists to go along with a plus-seven rating through 20 games.
James Murphy was told by Anton Khudobin himself that he is starting today versus the Tampa Bay Lightning spelling Tuukka Rask. (ESPNBoston)
Daniel Picard talks about how the Bruins’ maturity has kept them focused through their five-game win streak. (CSNNE.com)
As the Lightning invade the TD Garden, Tom Jones writes why about why the Lightning should trade Vincent Lecavalier. (Tampa Bay Times)
Here is another preview of the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning by Mike Lipka (Sporting News NHL)
Tweets of interest
Here is Jesse Connolly’s Tweet from Thursday’s game that earned him Tweet of the Week honors from Bruins’ Media Relations (@JesseNEHJ)
To all you speed tweeters, high five if you can go all night without spelling Silfverberg, Zibanejad, Dziurzynski or Wiercioch wrong once.
— Jesse Connolly (@JesseNEHJ) February 28, 2013
And Scott McLaughlin points out a few errors from ESPN on the Blackhawks’ 18-0-3 record through the first 21 games. We here at Bruins Daily aren’t that shocked since ESPN and hockey are not exactly a match made in heaven (@smclaughlin9)
In the span of 2 minutes, ESPN just said the Blackhawks had a 21-game winning streak, then said they had 3 ties. Both wrong. ESPN! Hockey!
— Scott McLaughlin (@smclaughlin9) March 2, 2013