The Bruins are home again, defending the barn against division rival Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Bruins are now at 43-13-12, putting them 1st in the Atlantic, and 1st in the league, 9 points ahead of the Tampa. And also 8 points ahead of the Blues. They are the 2nd team in the league (along with Tampa) to reach 40 regulation wins.
Last time in Bruins Hockey..
The Bruins were in Sunrise Florida, trying to ruin the Panther’s evening.
MacKenzie Weegar (possibly an actual name) put Florida on the board first, early in the 2nd period.
Later in the period, Florida forward Evgenii Dadonov would elbow Brandon Carlo in the face, knocking Carlo out of the game. For some reason, the original call on the ice of a major penalty was reduced to a 2-minute minor on review. It would take only 14 seconds into the power play for Patrice Bergeron to even the score.
The 3rd period was uneventful on the score sheet, but was a bit of a comedy of errors on the penalty logs, including most notably, Frank Vatrano playing the puck before getting his back skate out of the penalty box, which is, as he now knows, also a penalty.
The game would be tied at the end of regulation.
Torey Krug would break the tie, at 4:08, sealing the game in favor of the Bruins.
The Bruins managed to beat a middling team with a middling effort. Two A’s, no U’s, 2 points.
What will be the lines today?
Bruce has continued to kick around some new lines
Anton Blidh is still on the NHL roster, and Brett Ritchie & Steven Kampfer are still in Providence.
Karson Kuhlman has just been sent down.
Ondřej Kaše and Nick Ritchie have been on a Ritchie-Krejci-Kaše line since both appeared on the game rosters, and will be on that line today.
Brandon Carlo is the newest injury, and will not play tonight. John Moore will play in his stead, paired with Torey Krug. Connor Clifton has just been activated from IR. There is still no timeline for Kevan Miller’s return (fractured kneecap).
Par Lindholm, who was a healthy scratch on Thursday, was playing 4th C in morning rushes, so Anders Bjork is looking like a healthy scratch.
Jake DeBrusk was playing his off-side in rushes with Sean Kuraly on the left side.
Tuukka Rask will be in net today.
|Bruins Forward Lines|
|Bruins Defensive pairs|
|#40 Tuukka Rask||(#41 Jaroslav Halak)|
Today’s opponents are the Tampa Bay Lightning. The last time the Bruins saw them was on Tuesday, where the Bruins got out to a 2 goal lead and the Lightning were only able to score 1 and to have a near score called off on an offside. Including that loss, the Lightning are 2-4-0 in their last 6 games. They are 2nd in the division, 2nd in the conference, and 3rd in the league.
Their injuries are unchanged since Tuesday – Ryan McDonagh has been dealing with a lower body injury since blocking a shot in early February. Jan Rutta is also working through an intermediate-term lower body injury. Most recently, Steven Stamkos suffered a core injury. He underwent a surgical procedure and will miss at least 6-8 weeks.
(h/t Daily Faceoff and the Athletic’s @JoeSmithTB)
#18 Ondrej Palat — #21 Brayden Point — #86 Nikita Kucherov
#20 Blake Coleman — #71 Anthony Cirelli — #17 Alex Killorn
#19 Barclay Goodrow — #67 Mitchell Stephens — #9 Tyler Johnson
#14 Patrick Maroon — #13 Cedric Paquette — #37 Yanni Gourde
#77 Victor Hedman — #81 Erik Cernak
#98 Mikhail Sergachev — #22 Kevin Shattenkirk
#55 Brayden Coburn — #24 Zach Bogosian
#88 Andrei Vasilevskiy
(#35 Curtis McElhinney)