Tonight we have the 2nd game in the Lightning/Bruins series. The first game of the Eastern Conference series was not only won, but also dominated by the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning cruised to a 5-2 victory to take a 1-0 series lead and win their 8th game in a row. Boston will look for a better team effort tonight as nobody looked good on Saturday.
This series pits two teams against each other with veteran net minders, strong defence and depth at the forward position. Tampa took advantage of some soft goaltending and careless defensive play by the Bruins to steal the first game and home ice advantage from the Bruins. Boston will not be shaken up after losing the 1st game though, as they were down 2 games to Montreal and ended up wining that series.
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Tonight I look for the Bruins to come out with a solid defensive system in place; one very similar to what Tampa has utilized to win 8 in a row with. A 1-3-1 system will help minimize mistakes and should decrease Tampa Bays scoring chances on Tim Thomas. Speaking of the star net minder, you can expect him to bounce back in game two. Thomas is too good of a goalie not to come out with a fantastic effort for game two.
One of my favorite stats heading into this game is that the under is 10-3-2 following a Bruins loss of 3 or more goals. Even more staggering is that the under has gone 8-1-1 in the Bruins last 10 when they have lost by 3 or more at home. This shows two things to me. The bruins are a veteran, well-coached team who knows how to fix mistakes. Secondly, they find a way to keep the puck out of the net following a bad loss.
I have looked over the Internet and watched previews for this game and people tend to be looking at the over 5.5. I fail to understand the reasoning behind this. Tampa has played a defensive system the entire playoffs and playing on the road only adds to this. Teams look to capitalize on the other teams mistakes and win close games when playing on the road.
Boston on the other hand will look to shore up some mistakes from game one, and employ a much more sound defensive system in game two. Look for both goalies to be on top of their games and we should be treated to a close 1-goal game. An option I would suggest for this game would be putting money on the game to go to overtime, but the bet we will be going with on here is the under 5.5
Good luck to everyone tonight and enjoy what should be an excellent battle.