Just the Facts
When: 7:00 PM
Where: TD Garden - Boston, MA
How to watch: NESN, SunS
Rival SBN site: Raw Charge
Know your Enemy
- Nikita Kucherov - 38G-58A-96PTS; Steven Stamkos - 27G-59A-86PTS; Brayden Point - 28G-34A-62PTS
- The Lightning are led by Vezina candidate Andrei Vasilevskiy in goal, who has won 42 of his 61 games played and is sporting a .921 sv% and a 2.59 GAA. He has faltered a bit down the stretch however (.866 in last 5gp), after a very strong start to the year.
- Healthy or not, the Bruins have won both previous match ups this year, outscoring the Lightning by a 6-2 margin. Obviously down key players, scoring may be more of a challenge but Tampa’s defense has been struggling of late despite adding Ryan McDonagh to their back end.
- Brad Marchand is on fire with 3g, 5a in his last 5 games both with and without Patrice Bergeron. In a huge game like this I’d expect him to stay hot.He had 3 assists in the last two TBL games.
- The B’s remain without Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy, Jake DeBrusk, Rick Nash, David Backes, but continue to grab points. You get the feeling these two games versus Tampa Bay will end up determining who gets the top seed.
- In the last match up, the Bruins and particularly their top line managed to quiet MVP candidate Nikita Kucherov. His first shot on goal didn’t come until well into the 3rd period. The Bruins may not be able to replicate that dominance against him regularly, but shutting his line down will be a key component.
- The Bruins power play will likely be their best opportunity to take this game away from the Lightning, who are weak on the kill. They currently sit at 76%, good for 26th in the NHL. Get those feet moving boys, drawing penalties will be huge. The Bruins scored 2 goals on the PP in their 3-0 win on 3-17-18.