The Bruins have split the two games “on the road” vs the Tampa Bay Lightning at Scotiabank Arena, but now, the series comes back home to… Scotiabank Arena. It’s Game 3 of the playoff series. Be there. Or you’re not watching hockey.
It’s playoff round 2.
The Bruins got back to their old selves through the first round playoff series vs the Carolina Hurricanes. They didn’t always look dominant, but they did take care of business in 5 games.
Notable events included a 3-game absence by an injured David Pastrnak, some appearances by prospects Jack Studnicka, Jeremy Lauzon, Conor Clifton and Karson Kuhlman, and the playoff exit of Vezina-nominee Tuukka Rask. Rask opted out of the playoff bubble, citing a family emergency after two games. The Bruins have since relied on Jaro Halak in net with backup netminder Dan Vladar warming the bench.
Game 1 vs the Lightning looked good for the Bruins – they started out strong, scored first, survived the 2nd period pushback, scored a power play goal, scored a 3rd time – going up 3-0 and survived a late rally for a 1-goal victory.
Game 2 was less impressive. They got on the board early with Nick Ritchie jamming the goal, and Vasilevskiy losing track of the puck, but would soon give back the lead – or would they? The Bolts botched handling the Bruins clearing the puck out of their zone, with the would be goal scorer re-entering the Bruins zone before one of his teammates exited. The Bruins challenged the goal for offside and the goal was erased.
However, the lead *still* would not last as a stumbling shot from a prone Blake Coleman leaked past Jaro Halak.
The Bruins had a lot of issues maintaining control of the puck in the neutral zone, and Halak was peppered with shots. However, the power play worked for them, with Pasta & Marchand combining for a PPG to retake the lead. Nikita Kucherov would tie it up less than a minute later.
Then halfway through the 3rd period, Blake Coleman would strike again off a stretch pass from Victor Hedman, taking the lead for Tampa. Things looked tough for the Bruins, but Brad Marchand would not be denied, scoring the tying goal off a feed from Sean Kuraly.
However, Tampa is undefeated in OT during this postseason, and that trend continued with the Lightning dominating puck possession for over 4 minutes, until Ondrej Palat scored the game winner.
The series is tied 1-1
In an unrelated matter, the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks players boycotted their playoff game in response to the shooting of yet another black man by police in Kenosha Wisconsin. The team and the NBA have agreed to delay the game as well as games from 2 other series.
The NHL has no such plans for tonight’s playoff game.
Expect a pre-game moment of silence.
What will be the lines today?
The Bruins have “an unnamed forward” who will be a game time decision tonight. No one seems to have pinned down who that was, though the radio chatter was suggesting DeBrusk. I’m just going to note that Patrice Bergeron missed some shifts at the end of Game 2.
EDIT: It’s Kuraly. NESN suggesting Lindholm in, Bjork out. Fluto saying Clifton out, Moore & Lauzon in. I’ve updated this damn thing six fucking times. Thanks for being clear on this shit, Bruce.
Coach Cassidy suggested that going with 7 D-men was a likely possibility and letting Clifton play as a forward was not off the table.
|Bruins Forward Lines|
|Bruins Defensive pairs|
|#41 Jaroslav Halak||(#81 Dan Vladar)|
The Lightning appear to have found their stride with the Point-Kucherov line being pretty effective in Game 2.
Steven Stamkos has missed the playoffs with a lower body injury. Ryan McDonaugh left late in game 1, missed game 2 and is not scheduled to play tonight with Braydon Coburn and Luke Schenn both taking his place in game 2. Forward Mitchell Stephens was a scratch .
Jon Cooper would not comment on the choice of goaltender in net, so one must assume Vasilevskiy will be back.
Tampa Bay Lineup:
Given the above, I am assuming the same lineup from Game 2 will appear in Game 3.
Ondrej Palat — Brayden Point — Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn — Anthony Cirelli — Tyler Johnson
Barclay Goodrow — Yanni Gourde — Blake Coleman
Patrick Maroon — Cedric Paquette
Victor Hedman — Zach Bogosian
Braydon Coburn — Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev — Kevin Shattenkirk
— Scouting The Refs (@ScoutingTheRefs) August 26, 2020