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Preview: Bruins open five-game homestand against Lightning

The B’s have a chance to boost ahead in the standings as the season enters the home stretch.

NHL: DEC 04 Lightning at Bruins Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Just the facts

When: Tonight, 7:00 PM

Where: TD Garden – Boston, MA

How to follow: NESN, TVAS, SNE, SNO, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Rival SBN site: Raw Charge

Know your enemy

  • 39-17-6, 84PTS, 3rd in Atlantic Division
  • Steven Stamkos: 61GP, 27G, 39A, 66PTS; Victor Hedman: 62GP, 17G, 45A, 62PTS; Alex Killorn: 62GP, 19G, 30A, 49PTS
  • Andrei Vasilevskiy: 32-13-4, 2.38 GAA, .919 save percentage

Game notes

  • The Boston Bruins open a five-game homestand against the Tampa Bay Lightning as Hampus Lindholm makes his debut for the Black and Gold!
  • The B’s acquired Lindholm this past weekend in a deal with the Anaheim Ducks. He’s projected to slot in on the top defensive pairing with Charlie McAvoy tonight.
  • With the addition of the left-handed defenseman, there will be some competition for the third pairing. Derek Forbort, Mike Reilly and Connor Clifton rounded out the bottom defensemen at yesterday’s skate. Bruce Cassidy said if it’s Forbort and Reilly tonight, Reilly will play the right side.
  • The Lightning were also busy at the trade deadline, picking up Brandon Hagel (Chicago Blackhawks) and Nick Paul (Ottawa Senators). It hasn’t been too long since the Bruins saw Hagel – he scored three goals on the B’s this season in two games with the Blackhawks just this month. Paul had one assist in three games against the Bruins with the Senators this year.
  • Seating points are on the line tonight as the season enters the home stretch. The B’s currently sit at the top wild-card spot, but have a chance to bump ahead in the standings with Tampa Bay only one point ahead.
  • This will be the two team’s third meeting of the season. The B’s are 1-0-1 against the Lightning so far with a 3-2 overtime loss on December 4, 2021 and a 5-2 victory over them on January 8.
  • Neither team has scored on the power play against each other this season, as their penalty kills have shut the other’s down. The Bruins are 0/3 on the man-advantage while the Lightning are 0/6 in the season series so far.
  • Tampa Bay is 2-3-0 in their last five games, with three of those games decided by one score. In those one-goal differential matches, they were 1-2-0. The Lightning enter tonight’s game on a two-game losing streak. Tonight is also the second in a four-game road trip for the Lightning.
  • The Lightning last played on Tuesday against the Carolina Hurricanes - a 3-2 loss that saw Hagel and Paul make their debut. After a scoreless first, the Lightning trailed 2-1 heading into the final frame on two allowed, power-play goals, despite Paul netting his first tally for his new team. The Hurricanes scored midway through the third for a two-goal lead. Killorn score with a minute left, but Tampa Bay ultimately dropped the game.
  • Injury updates: Patrice Bergeron is “probable” for tonight, Cassidy said. The captain missed the last few games due to an elbow infection that required surgery. Cassidy said Bergeron has an appointment this morning and will find out after it if he’s cleared.

See ya tonight!