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  • Game Day Preview: Bruins vs. Lightning


    Game Day Preview: Bruins vs. Lightning

    Sara Civian March 29, 2018

    Bruins-Lightning day is finally upon us. At the beginning of this season, who would’ve thought facing the top team in the Atlantic Division would be something Boston fans are actually looking forward to?

    Somehow, through all the injuries, the Bruins have clawed their way up to second in the Atlantic. This all comes to a head with key players like Patrice Bergeron and Torey Krug returning from injury. Not only did the B’s reach second, but just one point behind Tampa Bay, they’ll fight for first place in the Atlantic — and Eastern Conference — Thursday at TD Garden.

    Bruins fans: are you heading over to TD Garden for the huge Bruins-Lightning tilt and in need of affordable parking? 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. 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: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub
    Records: Bruins 47-17-11 (105 points), Lightning 51-21-4 (106 points)
    Location: TD Garden

    Bruins projected lines

    Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak
    Ryan Donato-David Krejci-Brian Gionta
    Danton Heinen-Riley Nash-David Backes
    Tim Schaller-Noel Acciari-Tommy Wingels

    Torey Krug-Brandon Carlo
    Tommy Cross-Kevan Miller
    Nick Holden-Adam McQuaid

    Tuukka Rask
    Anton Khudobin

    Lightning projected lines

    J.T. Miller-Steven Stamkos-Nikita Kucherov
    Yanni Gourde-Brayden Point-Tyler Johnson
    Alex Killorn-Anthony Cirelli-Ondrej Palat
    Chris Kunitz-Cedric Paquette-Cory Conacher

    Victor Hedman-Anton Stralman
    Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
    Braydon Coburn-Mikhail Sergachev

    Andrei Vasilevskiy
    Louis Domingue
    Peter Budaj

    Bruins-Lightning storylines

    – You know the major storyline here. Get two points — in regulation or overtime — and the Bruins take the No. 1 spot in the Atlantic Division.

    – Earning those two points will be tough against Vezina contender Vasilevskiy, Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos (if he plays), J.T. Miller and Brayden Point. The good news is Vasilevskiy has been struggling in net recently — but even his struggles are another goaltender’s dreams. He currently has a .921 save percentage and a 2.59 GAA. The Lightning have dropped their last two (Devils 2-1, Coyotes 4-1) and Vasilevskiy is .899 in his last five games.

    – Both teams are at least somewhat banged up. Rick Nash, Jake DeBrusk, Zdeno Chara, and Charlie McAvoy are still out for the Bruins. The B’s will have at least one reinforcement as David Backes returns, while Matt Grzelcyk is a game-time decision. Stamkos is apparently nursing a “nagging” injury and is day-to-day. Victor Hedman and Adam Erne exited in the loss to the Coyotes and Ryan Callahan is out. Are you still there? Basically, neither team can use injury as an excuse for a loss, but it’s not like Bruce Cassidy would do that anyway.

    – Even with some key players out, this will be one of the leagues best offenses vs. one of the best defenses. The return of Bergeron is obviously huge for the potent Bruins’ first line in containing the Bolts top trio of Kucherov (38 G, 58 A, 96P), Stamkos (27, 59, 86), and  Miller (20, 33, 53). The Bruins have a 2-0 lead on the season series, and they have that lead because they were able to contain Tampa Bay’s first line. It might be as simple as that for the series sweep tonight.

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