Tampa Bay at Boston
When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Mass
Special Preview for Digital Sports Desk by SportsDirect
BOSTON – The Tampa Bay Lightning look to stay alive in the race for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference when they begin a three-game road trip Tuesday against the Boston Bruins. The Lightning are 5-0-1 since winning 6-3 at Boston on March 23 and sit four points behind the Bruins with a game in hand for the second wild card while Boston won its last five and can clinch a spot in the postseason with a regulation victory Tuesday.
“Now it’s down to win or go home,” said Tampa Bay defenseman Anton Stralman to reporters. “Going 4-0 (in the final four contests) might not be enough, but it will help. Every game is a Game 7.” The Lightning boast 24 goals in their last five victories after a 6-3 triumph against Dallas on Sunday and also visit Toronto (Thursday) and Montreal (Friday) before ending the regular season at home against Buffalo on Sunday. Boston outscored opponents 16-6 during its winning streak after a huge 3-2 victory at Chicago on Sunday afternoon and has only two games left after taking on Tampa Bay – at home Thursday against Ottawa and Sunday versus Washington. Veteran center Patrice Bergeron is playing a big role in the winning streak with four goals in the last four games for the Bruins.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, TVAS, Sportsnet, NESN (Boston)
ABOUT THE LIGHTNING (39-29-10): Center Tyler Johnson returned to the lineup after an 11-game absence with a lower-body injury and registered an assist Sunday. Defenseman Jason Garrison (lower-body) also was back after missing four games, but re-aggravated the injury and is questionable for Tuesday while captain Steven Stamkos (knee) is still a question mark after missing 4½ months since surgery. Nikita Kucherov leads the team with 81 points and linemate Ondrej Palat is red hot with three goals and 10 assists over the past eight contests.
ABOUT THE BRUINS (43-30-6): Leading scorer Brad Marchand is warming up again with two goals and three assists during a four-game point streak to push his season total to 85 points. David Pastrnak (68 points) owns four assists in the last four contests and center David Krejci scored twice in the same span while forward Ryan Spooner snapped a 10-game goal drought Sunday. Goalie Tuukka Rask will likely get the start after turning aside 75 of the 78 shots he faced in his last three outings – in between two outstanding performances by backup Anton Khudobin.
1. The Lightning own points in four of their last five visits to Boston (3-1-1), but won only seven times in 47 regular-season games overall in Beantown.
2. Tampa Bay F Jonathan Drouin notched an assist Sunday and boasts 10 points (four goals) in the last eight games.
3. The Bruins are 3-for-8 on the power play over the last three contests and 18-for-19 on the penalty kill in the past five games.