Game Preview: Bruins vs Lightning

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(Photo Credits: Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty)

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

 

The boys in Black and Gold are back home playing their final season matinee game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. With a win this afternoon, Boston can notch their 50th win for the second consecutive season and 11th in club history. The Bruins have won their past two games and both teams have punched their way into the Playoffs.

Boston defeated the Minnesota Wild this past Thursday, in which fans got to see the NHL debut of Providence’s Zach Senyshyn, who would go on to notch his first NHL goal. The Bruins are now at 107 points, tied with the Calgary Flames in the league and locked at finishing second in the Atlantic Division. The top line continues to dominate as all three players have tallied up points to lead the team, as well as being in the top five in the league.

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(Photo Credits: NBC Sports)

Brad Marchand is fifth in the league with 100 points; Patrice Bergeron is fourth in the league with four short-handed goals; David Pastrnak is fourth in the league for power-play goals (four). Marchand leads the team in points (100) and assists (64), while Pastrnak leads the team with 38 goals. The 22-year-old Czech forward has also accumulated 13 points in his last eight games played.

 

Jake DeBrusk has six points in the last five games played, while David Krejci has seven in his last five games played. Defenseman Torey Krug has notched five points in his last five games. Charlie Coyle will be playing his 500th game in his NHL career. Marchand has eight points in the last five games played.

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(Photo Credits: NESN.com)

The Tampa Bay Lighting come into the TD Garden looking to nab the NHL record for most wins in a single season. Tampa Bay has 61 wins and is within one win away from tying the Detroit Red Wings record of 62 wins back in 1996. Forward Nikita Kucherov is one point away from tying Alexander Mogilny record of most points in a single season. Kucherov has 126, while Mogilny has 127–the most by a Russian-born player. Kucherov leads the team in points (126) and in assists (86).  Fellow teammate Steven Stamkos leads the team with 44 goals.

Kucherov leads the league in both points and assists; Stamkos is second in the league with 19 powerplay goals and has 16 points in his last nine games.  The Lightning have a regular season record of 61-16-4 while the Bruins are 49-23-9.

(Photo Credits: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images North America)

The Bruins rested many players on Thursday, but some could return today. Defenseman Kevan Miller sustained a lower-body injury on Thursday but is expected to play this afternoon. Expect goaltender Tuukka Rask in net today and for the Lightning expect Andrei Vasilevskiy in between the pipes. Chris Wagner is still nursing a lower-body injury, John Moore has an upper-body injury and Sean Kuraly is still recovering from hand surgery. For Tampa Bay, Dan Girardi, Victor Hedman, and goalie Louis Domingue are all nursing injuries.

Here are the Projected lineups:

BOSTON

DEBRUSK-BERGERON-PASTRNAK

JOHANSSON-COYLE-SENSYSHYN

NORDSTROM-ACCIARI-BACKES

HENINEN-FREDERIC-KUHLMAN

KRUG-CARLO

GRZELCYK-MILLER

CLIFTON-KAMPFER

RASK

TAMPA BAY

PALAT-STAMKOS-JOHNSON

GOURDE-POINT-KUCHEROV

KILLORN-CIRELLI-JOSEPH

ERNE-PAQUETTE-CALLAHAN

COBURN-STRALMAN

MCDONAGH-CERNAK

SERGACHEV-RUTTA

VASILEVSKIY

 

WHEN TO WATCH: Today with puck drop at 1:00 PM, TD Garden

WHERE TO WATCH: NESN, SUN

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