The Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning do it all over again tonight after a 4-2 win for the Bruins over the Lightning on the 29th. There is something on the line here, as the Atlantic is up for grabs in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins have clawed back to the lead and are in a fine position to steal the division from right underneath the Bolts. Tampa has had a grasp on things pretty well the entire season until recently. The Bruins have made their presence felt and look poised to keep it going in the playoffs.
Who knows what’s really going to happen, though. Boston can move a step closer to closing the Lightning out for the Atlantic by defeating them in Florida tonight. After tonight, the Bruins have three games remaining while the Lightning have two, so the ball is in the Bruins’ court. It’s a bigger game for the Lightning tonight, who won’t statistically be out of the division hunt, but are going to need everything to go their way if they lose.
The Lightning have not been playing at their peak lately. They’ve let the division just about slip away and losing. Tampa have lost four of their last five games, including wins in just four of ten games. They nevertheless still sport a record of 52-23-2 and will still have a high seed regardless. This isn’t just a run at the division, it’s a chase for the overall number 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Both teams have been great at home, the Bruins 27-7-5 and the Lightning 27-10-2. The Bruins just fell to the Flyers, 4-3 in overtime, while the Lightning lost 4-1 to a team who may meet one of them in the Stanley Cup Final, the Predators. Head below for our free Bruins vs. Lightning pick on Tuesday night.
Boston Bruins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Pick
The Lightning have to figure out what’s going on defensively with them lately. They’ve allowed 3.7 goals per game in their last ten games. In three of their last four games, the Bolts have given up at least 4 goals. At this point in the season, it may just be a case of getting bored waiting for the playoffs to get here. Pinpointing effort and motivation is always the trickiest this time of the year. In any event, the Lightning are playing for something. It’s been tough sledding against the Bruins, though, as they’ve won just one game over the Bruins in the last nine meetings. This will be the third time in a month they play, and the Bruins can make it a sweep in Tampa tonight.
Stamkos is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. He is questionable to play on Tuesday night, but it doesn’t appear it will hamper him at all for the playoffs. The Lightning have lost their lead in the conference and Nikita Kucherov has lost his lead in points. Connor McDavid has taken over with 103 points, while Kucherov trails with 97 points. McDavid won’t be playing in the playoffs, though, that’s for certain. The Bruins had some notably injuries the other day, especially to Brandon Carlo and Riley Nash. Nash left the ice on a stretcher, and Nash took a slapper off his head and didn’t return to action. Brian Gionta will likely see the ice in his absence tonight. I don’t think the Lightning are going to let go of the division just yet. They should feel rejuvenated at home and avoid losing three in a row against the Bruins in less than a month.