The Boston Bruins tied Game 2 late on Tuesday night, but could not hold off the Tampa Bay Lightning in overtime. The Lightning took a 4-3 decision, evening the series at 1-1. Tonight, in the first of two potential back-to-back situations, the teams will jockey for a key series lead.
Puck drop is scheduled for 8:00 pm on NBCSN, CBC and 98.5 The Sports Hub.
MARCHAND KEEPS HOT STICK
Although the Boston Bruins were on the losing end on Tuesday night, there were some positives to take from the game. The biggest one? Brad Marchand’s continued dominance. The dynamic winger scored two more goals on Tuesday night, including the tying goal late in the third period.
He now has six goals in the postseason, and has helped turn the Bruins powerplay into a real weapon again.
“A lot of times I think it’s just happening, we’re kind of switching up the power play a little bit. I’m normally on the half wall so I’m kind of hanging up higher,” Marchand said postgame of his recent success. “Now I’m just around the front of the net, it just happened to find a couple pucks around there and a couple nice plays. I think it’s just mostly because I’m in front of the net instead of on the half wall.”
In seven playoff games so far, Marchand has 11 points (6 g, 5 a).
BRUINS PREPARED FOR BACK-TO-BACK SET
The Bruins and Lightning get right back to it less than 24 hours after finishing Game 2 on Tuesday night. For head coach Bruce Cassidy, that might actually be a good thing.
“Sometimes it’s good to get right back at it when you lose a hockey game,” Cassidy told reporters. “You know, we’ll see tomorrow if that’s good for us, you saw their energy early on, they had good push, usually after a loss you have that. You know they may be riding high and going to build off that because they want to even the series. So that’s a tough one sometimes to answer.”
In terms of fatigue, Cassidy isn’t exactly worried. He didn’t think his team got overworked in Game 2.
“Minutes wise we were pretty good I thought,” Cassidy continued. “Balanced going into the overtime, obviously only a five minute overtime, so that part was good, I don’t think anybody had to go, no injuries so we didn’t really have to double shift anybody, so that part of our recovery should be OK.”
Brad Marchand, meanwhile, doesn’t want the back-to-back scenario to be used as an excuse.
“That’s a team that competes hard and works very hard,” Marchand said. “To play that two nights in a row, it’s going to be a battle. Like you said, we all play back-to-backs all the time. No excuses come playoff time. You have to show up and you have to play.
“You have to find a way to win. just have to rely on the whole group tomorrow. Everyone is going to have to have their best games if we want to compete with that team.”
COOPER HITS RIGHT BUTTONS
Without veteran stalwart Ryan McDonagh, coach Jon Cooper elected to dress seven defensemen on Tuesday night. It’s a decision he discussed after the victory.
“We’re just putting a lineup every given night that we feel is giving us the best chance to win,” Cooper said. “Losing mac is tough. That’s some big minutes by a strong defender and big-time player in this league. We’ve had – Schenner [Luke Schenn] is a 700 plus guy in this league. [Brayden] Coburn, they’ve played a lot. They know how to play in the National Hockey League. We played – everybody knows that game we played right before the pause and both those guys were playing. When you do try and make a run, you need depth. Are we happy that we don’t have some of the players in the lineup? No. But are we ok putting other guys in to take their spots? For sure.
“You just, it’s not the 20 guys that dress on Game one of the first round. You’re going to need others and tonight we felt we needed to give our D – going to lower their minutes a little bit and we feel we have a forward crew that can get things done. For tonight it worked out.”
BOSTON BRUINS LINES
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk – David Krejci – Ondrej Kase
Nick Ritchie – Charlie Coyle – Anders Bjork
Joakim Nordstrom – Sean Kuraly – Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara – Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug – Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk – Connor Clifton
Boston Bruins lines are subject to change. Cassidy confirmed that Halak will get the start, and Vladar will back up. Lines are based off of Game 2, but will change. Cassidy admitted that he might dress seven defensemen, meaning Jeremy Lauzon or John Moore could return to the lineup. Cassidy also said a forward could be a game-time decision, but did not say who.
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING LINES
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
Mikhail Sergachev – Kevin Shattenkirk
Braydon Coburn – Erik Cernak
Tampa Bay Lightning lines are subject to change. Cooper has also hinted at a goaltending change for Game 3, while it is also possible he goes back to a 12 forward, six defense setup. Ryan McDonagh will not dress for the second consecutive game, per Cooper.