Splitting the first two games with the Lightning in Tampa wasn’t all that bad for the Boston Bruins. But the Black and Gold know they have to be better as the series shifts to Boston beginning Wednesday night in Game 3.
More puck possession and a better start are two areas the Bruins hope to improve as they change venues and get to play in front of the faithful 17,565 at TD Garden.
“We want to continue to play with the puck. We have so much skill in this room and we want to possess [the puck],” Charlie McAvoy said following the B’s morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena. “I felt like that they were possessing it a little bit too much, but we want to take back that puck possession. We want to get shots to the net and make it hard for these guys and maybe play that physical aspect of the game and let them know that this is going to be a hard series.”
The Lightning’s physicality led to increased scoring chances in Games 1 and 2. McAvoy and the Bruins hope to counter that and cool off the Bolts on a hot, summer-like day in Boston.
Bruins fans: are you in need of parking for Game 3 tonight? Then head over Constitution Wharf (1 Constitution Rd.) — a short walk to and from the Garden — and avoid the traffic and construction on Causeway St. Take advantage of the rate and beautiful walk that comes along with it. Mention Bruins Daily at the entrance for a prepaid rate of $12 — $3 less than the usual game night price!
Gametime: 7 p.m.
TV/Radio: NBCSN/98.5 The Sports Hub
Series: Tied 1-1
Location: TD Garden
Bruins projected lines
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk-David Krejci-Rick Nash
Danton Heinen-Riley Nash-David Backes
Tommy Wingels-Sean Kuraly-Noel Acciari
Zdeno Chara-Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug-Kevan Miller
Matt Grzelcyk-Adam McQuaid
Lightning projected lines
J.T. Miller-Steven Stamkos-Nikita Kucherov
Ondrej Palat-Brayden Point-Tyler Johnson
Alex Killorn-Anthony Cirelli-Yanni Gourde
Chris Kunitz-Cedric Paquette-Ryan Callahan
Victor Hedman-Dan Girardi
Ryan McDonagh-Anton Stralman
Braydon Coburn-Mikhail Sergachev
Bruins-Lightning Game 3 storylines
– The Bruins had their ideal lineup for three straight games, but Bruce Cassidy is making a personnel change in Game 3. Tommy Wingels will take Tim Schaller’s spot on the fourth line with Sean Kuraly and Noel Acciari. The Lightning’s physicality took a toll on the Bruins in Game 2, specifically against their bottom-six. Insert the veteran Wingels, a bruiser who is best used on the third or fourth line.
“Timmy [Schaaller] has played well for us and so has Tommy,” Cassidy said. “At the end of the day, Tommy has some experience, he provides physicality — and I think we were a little short of that down there. So, it’s a small swap…to make sure that we’re not completely comfortable and get the urgency that’s required, because I think we lacked some of that there at times.”
– Good news: the Bruins and the traveling members of the media brought the warm weather from Tampa to Boston. But it comes at the price of bad ice. Not only will the warm weather create less than ideal conditions, but the turnover from the Celtics parquet to the Bruins ice sheet — albeit 48 hours — will also play a factor. The Bruins got used to those ice conditions during the first two games in sunny Central Florida. The Bolts are quite comfortable with the slushy surface. So, what can the B’s do to prepare for this?
“There have been different rinks with bad ice all year long,” David Backes said, “different multi-purpose facilities where you got a basketball game even in the afternoon and you have to play that night. It’s not something that’s unique to us. We’re going to play on the same ice as they are and I’ve got faith in our ice crew that they’ll be dialing it in the best they can and we’ll have a good surface to play on tonight.”
– What exactly is Patrice Bergeron doing to get himself kicked out of the faceoff dot? That is a question for many centers, including Bergeron, with every perplexing puck drop from the NHL linesmen. The four-time Selke winner was thrown out of the dot six times in Game 2. With the ice surface in rough shape, the last thing the Bruins or Lightning want is more ejections from the circle.