Boston Bruins at Tampa Bay Lightning
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, December 12, 2019
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
TAMPA – The inconsistent Tampa Bay Lightning look to get back to their winning ways on home ice when they return to Amalie Arena for an Atlantic Division showdown with the first-place Boston Bruins tonight. The Lightning have alternated wins and losses over the last six contests while losing four of the past five games at home, but come in off one of their best efforts of the season Tuesday in a 2-1 victory at Florida.
“It was a game where we seemed like we played pretty consistent all the way through,” Tampa Bay left wing Alex Killorn told reporters after his team registered a 48-28 edge in shots Tuesday. “I’m really happy with the way we played once we got the lead. It didn’t seem like we sat back at all. It seemed like we elevated our game a little bit more.”
The Lightning have won eight of the last nine meetings, including playoffs, and survived allowing three power-play goals to beat the Bruins 4-3 in a shootout at Boston on Oct. 17. The Bruins hold a comfortable lead atop the Atlantic Division, but have lost three straight games in regulation for the first time this season and matched a season-high losing streak of four (0-3-1) with a 3-2 loss at Washington on Wednesday.
Boston’s David Pastrnak scored his league-leading 26th goal in the setback and boasts 22 points (13 goals) in 21 career regular-season contests against the Tampa Bay, including two in the matchup in October.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Sportsnet East, Sportsnet Ontario, Sportsnet Pacific, TVA, NESN (Boston), FS Sun (Tampa Bay)
ABOUT THE BRUINS (20-6-6): The Bruins still own one of the best power-play percentages in the league, but went 0-for-5 against Washington and are 2-for-25 in the past eight games. Pastrnak owns 12 of his goals with the man advantage and boasts 46 points – one behind team leader Brad Marchand, who has not scored a goal in seven games but posted his fourth assist in that stretch Wednesday. Center Patrice Bergeron, who skates with Pastrnak and Marchand, was kept off the scoresheet by Washington after recording eight points during a five-game streak while defenseman Torey Krug became the fifth player to reach 20 points.
ABOUT THE LIGHTNING (15-11-3): Killorn is off to one of the best starts of his career with nine goals and 24 points in his first 27 games after scoring for the fourth time in five contests Tuesday. “He’s a guy that plays the game the right way and he’s getting rewarded for that,” captain Steven Stamkos told reporters. “He’s got a big body, he can control the play, he’s got a great shot and he’s just smart on the ice.” Stamkos scored his fourth goal in three games at Florida and tops the team with 11 while right wing Nikita Kucherov (198 career goals) has been kept off the scoresheet in three straight games, but leads the club with 31 points.
- Boston C Charlie Coyle needs one goal to reach 100 in his career and LW Jake DeBrusk is one shy of 100 points.
- Tampa Bay G Andrei Vasilevskiy (12-8-1, .910 save percentage), who stopped 64-of-66 shots his last two games, made 34 saves to beat Boston in October.
- Bruins G Tuukka Rask (13-3-3, .927 SP) has lost his last two starts, but is 17-10-2 in his career against the Lightning during the regular season.