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PREVIEW: Bruins make another stop in the Sunshine State, visiting Tampa Bay Lightning

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An injury-depleted Bruins squad plays the top team in the East.

NHL: Boston Bruins at Tampa Bay Lightning
Adam McQuaid will have his work cut out for him as he tries to step up his role in the absence of the B’s top defensive pair.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Just the facts

When: 7:00 PM

Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida

How to follow: SUN, NESN

Rival SBN site: Raw Charge

Know your enemy

  • Nikita Kucherov: 34G-57A-91PTS; Steven Stamkos: 27G-55A-82PTS; Brayden Point: 27G-30A-57PTS
  • Andrej Vasilevskiy, 40-13-3, 2.52 GAA, .923 Sv%; Peter Budaj: 3-3-1, 3.77 GAA, .876 Sv%

Game notes

  • Were both teams healthy, this would be a great preview to the potential playoff series between these two teams. However, with Boston being down its top defensive pair and top center, we might expect to see similar returns to earlier games this week.
  • A bright spot among the unusual games this week has been the play of Danton Heinen and Tim Schaller. Heinen broke his drought and was second in shots for the B’s against the Panthers. Schaller has committed to fijishing checks with more frequency this week, presumably to help wear down the other team to the Bruins’ level.
  • Tampa is having an unusual goalie controversy at the moment. Andrei Vasilevskiy, now firmly planted in the Tampa #1 goalie spot, said this week that he’s “tired”. With good reason - he’s just a couple shy of 60 starts already and one would figure that he’ll cross that mark by a few before getting shelved to rest for the playoffs. His slump against Ottawa may earn him a night off against the Bruins.
  • After a near dud two games ago, where the wheels fell off yet the wagon still skidded in with the win, it would be nice to see the B’s score the first goal. The challenge tonight will be how well the keep Tampa’s forwards off the board.

NEVER FORGET:

No goals in regulation, then heart attack time only 10 seconds into OT. Relish that voice crack from Jack Edwards.