Game Day Preview: Bruins vs. Lightning
The Boston Bruins will look for their fourth straight win Tuesday night as Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Lightning come to town.
The Black and Gold are coming off their win against the Philadelphia Flyers Saturday afternoon where David Pastrnak scored his first NHL goal and then, for good measure, lit the lamp for the second time in the 3-1 victory.
Related: Pastrnak paces Bruins past Flyers
The Lightning, who lead the Eastern Conference, played that same Flyers team Monday night and had their doors blown off in a 7-3 defeat. Evgeni Nabakov was pulled after allowing four goals on 13 shots forcing Ben Bishop into action while defenseman Victor Hedman and center Tyler Johnson both left the game due to lower-body injuries.
The Bruins swept the season series last year taking care of the Lightning in all four games. Tonight will be the first time these two teams meet during the 2014-2015 season. The B’s take a 13-6-4 home record into tonight’s game while the Lightning own a 11-9-3 record away from home.
Here is your complete Bruins-Lightning preview:
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Gametime: 7:00 PM
Records: Bruins 22-15-6 (50 points), Lightning 27-13-4 (58 points)
TV/Radio: NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub
Location: TD Garden
Bruins’ projected lines:
Brad Marchand-David Krejci-David Pastrnak
Milan Lucic-Patrice Bergeron-Daniel Paille
Reilly Smith-Carl Soderberg-Loui Eriksson
Chris Kelly-Gregory Campbell-Craig Cunningham
Zdeno Chara-Dougie Hamilton
Dennis Seidenberg-Adam McQuaid
Torey Krug-Kevan Miller
Lightning projected lines:
Alex Killorn-Steven Stamkos-Jonathan Drouin
Ondrej Palat-Vladislav Namestnikov-Nikita Kurcherov
Cedric Paquette-Valtteri Filppula-Ryan Callahan
Brenden Morrow-Brian Boyle-Brett Connolly
Jason Garrison-Anton Stralman
Nikita Nesterov-Andrej Sustr
Mark Barberio-Matt Carle
Who to watch for Bruins: David Pastrnak
The Bruins were in dire need of a first-line right winger after the departure of Jarome Iginla. Seth Griffith stepped up in spots and delivered some big goals, but it’s time to pass the torch to David Pastrnak.
Pastrnak may be only 18 years-old and under 200 pounds, but his skill set may be the best on the Bruins. The 25th overall pick has only appeared in seven games, but he is making an impact.
On Boston.com: Pastrnak should stay in Boston for good
The Czech forward isn’t afraid to shoot the puck accumulating 20 shots in seven games. He also isn’t afraid to get to the net, use his body and get to those dirty areas which are all signs of veteran players not a player that has been in the league only seven games.
Pastrnak’s two goals against the Flyers were a glimpse of things to come. While playing on the power-play and with David Krejci, Pastrnak is set up for success and the chemistry is evident in only a few games being paired on that first line with Krejci and Brad Marchand.
Who to watch for Lightning: Steven Stamkos
It seems as if every year Steven Stamkos gets better. He is still only 24 years-old.
In 44 games played this season, he ranks third in the NHL in goals with 23 while he ranks 12th with 41 points. The 2008 first overall pick has four game-winning goals this season ranking him sixth in the NHL while his 147 shots on net rank him fifth.
Stamkos has been on a roll lately scoring three goals in his last five games. In those games, he has compiled 19 shots on net and has averaged over 18 minutes of ice time.
In 23 career games vs. the Black and Gold, Stamkos has 18 (12 goals, 6 assists) and a minus-12 rating. His last game against the Bruins, he had zero points, a minus-2 rating, three hits and one shot on goal so the B’s know how to limit the talented Stamkos to a degree. This is a very different B’s team from last year and the Lightning are playing at a very high level this season, but we will see if history repeats itself.
Game Day Edge: Take advantage of extra day’s rest
The Bruins had their feet up last night while the Lightning witnessed an offensive onslaught by the Flyers. The Bolts figured they could rest Bishop, but that wasn’t the case. Unexpected injuries to two key players also occurred when Hedman and Johnson went down putting the Lightning in a tough spot.
The stars are aligning for the Black and Gold as they nurse back to health themselves. The B’s are playing their best hockey of the season and it is mainly because Krejci is playing on a more consistent basis. The Black and Gold are 7-2-3 since Krejci’s return and they are almost averaging three goals per game.
The Lightning may lead the Eastern conference as of today, but Tuukka Rask and the rest of the B’s seem to have their number. Rask turned in a 4-0-0 record last season versus the Bolts with a stingy 0.98 goals against average and .962 save percentage.
Look for the Bruins to start fast and try to take the Lightning out of the game early as the Flyers did to them Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
Game Day Video: Relive Pastrnak’s first two career goals from the Bruins’ 3-1 win over the Flyers on Saturday: