Game 2 of the hotly contested Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins series goes down Tuesday evening, with the slightly favoured Bolts trailing 1-0.
After a lackluster start for both of these groups in the round robin, they seem to have found their game. Boston especially has rounded into form, executing their style with perfection in Game 1. They’re big, fast, and can score – and despite not having starter Tuukka Rask between the pipes, Jaro Halak is proving why he’s one of the sport’s best backups.
Boston proved to be pretty opportunistic in Game 1, especially on the powerplay. Their skill players always seem to cash in when it matters most, and the first game of the series was no different.
In order for Tampa to avoid an 0-2 hole, an emphasis has to be made on playing smart and not taking ill-advised penalties. The Lightning are battling some injuries too, as captain Steven Stamkos remains out injured. Victor Hedman doesn’t seem to be at 100% and other key defenseman Ryan McDonagh is iffy. If Tampa is going to overcome those holes, they’ll need to use their depths and smarts to play with the talented Bruins.
While Game 2 is never a must-win, the Bolts can ill-afford to go down two games against such an experienced and battle-tested Bruins squad. That makes Tuesday evening’s showdown all the more important. In a matchup between two of the East’s premier teams, this one should be exciting. Read on below for team news and a betting prediction for Tampa Bay vs. Boston. Enjoy!
Bruins vs. Lightning Betting Odds:
Boston Bruins (-104)
Tampa Bay Lightning (-106)
Over 5.5 (+113)
Under 5.5 (-125)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Bruins vs. Lightning Pick:
Despite being in an early hole in this series, the Lightning did many things right back in Game 1. They controlled the majority of play, and proved that their depth can play well against the stars of the Bruins.
Going back to the last series, Tampa Bay has shown well against physical teams – including the Blue Jackets. The Bolts are a team run by speed and skill, but recent additions have made them more difficult to play against. In Game 1, we saw the impact their bigger guys such as Barclay Goodrow, Blake Coleman, and Patrick Maroon can have when battling the B’s.
The Bolts are likely the deepest and fastest squad in hockey, and that’s without their captain Steven Stamkos. With no return imminent, they’ll have to carry on without their skilled sniper – but it shouldn’t prevent them from evening the series on Tuesday evening. Tampa Bay’s pace up front will continue to wear down a slow-footed Boston defense corps, forcing them into turnovers, mistakes, or penalties. The Bolts are so skilled and should take full-advantage.
Tampa has been desperate many times before, and though going down 0-2 is hardly insurmountable – expect a veteran performance from this battle-tested group. Jaroslav Halak can be beat, and the Bolts should show that in abundance here in Game 2. At a short favourite price, look for the Cup favourites to bounce back in a big way.
Pick: Lightning 4-1