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  • Game Day Preview: Bruins vs. Lightning


    Game Day Preview: Bruins vs. Lightning

    Tim Rosenthal April 4, 2017

    Win in regulation, and they’re in.

    That’s the simple message and mindset that the Bruins will approach tonight when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game No. 80 of their 2016-17 regular season.

    After their last loss to the Lightning 12 days ago, the Bruins have won five straight and have put themselves on the brink of the postseason. Given how they looked against the Bolts, one had a reason to be a little pessimistic about watching another late regular season collapse on Causeway Street.

    There still may be a little bit of cynicism on whether the Bruins can get the job done after missing the postseason on the final day of the regular season the last two years. The last thing the B’s need is for that cynicism – and the mistakes made against the Lightning – to creep up. Even an overtime or shootout win will help ease that anxiety after the early spring failures in 2015 and 2016.

    Gametime: 7:00 p.m.
    TV/Radio: NESN, NBCSN (outside of local markets)/98.5 The Sports Hub
    Records: Bruins 43-30-6 (92 points), Lightning 39-29-10 (88 points)
    Location: TD Garden

    Bruins projected lines

    Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Backes
    Drew Stafford-David Krejci-David Pastrnak
    Sean Kuraly-Ryan Spooner-Matt Beleskey
    Riley Nash-Dominic Moore-Noel Acciari

    Zdeno Chara-Brandon Carlo
    Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid
    John-Michael Liles-Kevan Miller

    Tuukka Rask
    Anton Khudobin

    Lightning projected lines

    Ondrej Palat-Brayden Point-Nikita Kucherov
    Alex Killorn-Tyler Johnson-Jonathan Drouin
    Adam Erne-Yanni Goude-Vladislav Namestnikov
    J.T. Brown-Gregg McKegg-Gabriel Dumont

    Victor Hedman-Jake Dotchin
    Braydon Coburn-Andrej Sustr
    Anton Stralman-Luke Witkowski

    Andrei Vasilevsky
    Peter Budaj

    Tonight’s storylines

    – In the last meeting, the Bruins took the lead three times during the second period. The Lightning countered quickly in each of those three instances tallying goals just 44, 22 and 95 seconds apart, respectively, after the B’s lit the lamp. Since then, the Bruins have been more focused on holding and keeping their leads. With a trip to the postseason on the line, that focus will need to be front and center in what should be a playoff-like atmosphere tonight at TD Garden.

    – After tallying his first NHL point on Sunday afternoon against the Blackhawks, Sean Kuraly will look to pick up right where he left off two nights later. Replacing Jimmy Hayes, Kuraly added energy and a little scoring touch on a third line that is desperately looking to contribute on the scoresheet. During the third period, Kuraly switched places and skated with David Krejci and Drew Stafford at a time where the Bruins were looking to extend their slim one-goal lead. Given Bruce Cassidy’s willingness to make in-game line changes, Kuraly could see himself in a different role for a second straight contest depending on circumstances.

    – From a scoreboard watching perspective, Bruins fans will be paying close attention to the Maple Leafs and Senators for a second straight night. The Leafs host a Capitals team looking to put the final touches of another Presidents’ Trophy season, while the Sens welcome the Red Wings to the Canadian capital in their second game of a back-to-back. The Leafs and Sens each have a game in hand on the Bruins, who host Ottawa on Thursday night in the second to last game of their campaign.

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    Tim Rosenthal

    Tim Rosenthal serves as the Managing Editor of Bruins Daily. He started contributing videos to the site in 2010 before fully coming on board during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011. His bylines over the last decade have been featured on Boston.com, FoxSports.com, College Hockey News, Patch and Inside Hockey. You can follow Tim on Twitter @_TimRosenthal.


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