By: Lucas Pearson | Follow Me On Twitter @LucasPearson_
Game 5, 7 PM ET. It’s do or die for the Bruins. Their season is on the line. After winning the first game of the series 3-2, the Bruins have dropped three games in a row and haven’t looked good. This Boston team has been as resilient as you can get since the start of the season and they need to show up and show up big time. “I think our core will,” Coach Bruce Cassidy said. “They have to. Your best players need to be your best players. I think what I was getting at the other day was they’re going to have some nights where they need the secondary group to push up. Every team, if you’re going to advance in the playoffs, needs that.”
Obviously their stars need to show up, but if the Bruins want to win this game, the Charlie Coyle and Anders Bjorks of the team need to produce. Tampa Bay’s depth scoring from guys like Blake Coleman and Yanni Gourde have been a massive advantage for the Lightning. The B’s defensive coverage has also been a question mark for the team, as apparent in the Lightning’s first goal in Game 4. The Bruins just need to play their game and start capitalized on the few errors the Lightning make.
Steven Stamkos will remain out for the Lightning. Ryan McDonagh will be game time decision after missing most of the series. Chris Wagner will be out for Game 5 and both Sean Kuraly and Nick Ritchie are questionable.
Neither lineup has been confirmed, but I’d assume there will be a bit of a personnel change for the Bruins. Their grittier approach hasn’t worked and I’d be really interested to see a speed approach for the Bruins. Get some young, hungry, talented guys back into the lineup. I’d also entertain the option of moving Pastrnak to Krejci’s wing. For the Tampa side, I can’t really see any lineup changes with the recent success they’ve had.
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Jake Debrusk – David Krejci – Ondrej Kase
Anders Bjork – Charlie Coyle – Jack Studnicka
Joakim Nordstrom – Par Lindholm – Karson Kuhlman
If Kuraly is back, he’ll slide into the 4C. Also very possible to see Nick Ritchie remain in the lineup, likely taking out Studnicka and moving Bjork to the right.
Zdeno Chara – Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug – Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk – Connor Clifton
I’d like to see Krug and Carlo on separate pairs. After a great regular season, they’ve been a bit underwhelming. Maybe we see a jumbo pairing of Chara and Carlo and have Krug in an offensive pairing of Krug and McAvoy. We could also see Jeremy Lauzon or John Moore hop back in for Clifton.
Ondrej Palat – Brayden Point – Nikita Kucherov
Alex Kilhorn – Anthony Cirelli – Tyler Johnson
Barclay Goodrow – Yanni Gourde – Blake Coleman
Patrick Maroon – Cedric Paquette
Victor Hedman – Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev – Kevin Shattenkirk
Brayden Coburn – Zach Bogosian
It’s worth noting that if Ryan McDonagh enters back into the lineup, the Lightning may move back to six defensemen and slot Mitchell Stephens back one the fourth line.
My prediction is a 3-2 Bruins win. Goal scorers Krug, Coyle, Bergeron. Let’s hope this isn’t Krug’s final game in the spoked-B. Go Bs.