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This is the second of four meetings between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Boston Bruins. Playing each other in the season opener at TD Garden on October 3, the Lightning were handed a 3-1 loss to start the season. The next time the Bolts face the Bruins will be on Monday, November 11 in Boston, before closing out the season series on Saturday, March 8 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
The Big Story:
Hoping to earn their first win against the Bruins since March 13, 2012, it’s also a chance to redeem themselves from their season-opening loss to start 2013-14. Tuuka Rask (1.51) and Ben Bishop (1.57) rank fifth and sixth, respectively, in goals-against average in the NHL and they both rank in the Top 10 in the league in save percentage. Tonight’s 7 p.m. contest at the Times Forum is also the first of four games versus their first four opponents of the season and will serve as a measuring stick of progress for the Bolts.
LIGHTNING – Martin St. Louis returned to the lineup last game against the Minnesota Wild, despite being a game-time decision. In the case of his absence the Bolts recalled forward Brett Connolly from the Crunch, as he made his debut on the fourth line with Nate Thompson and B.J. Crombeen. Tampa Bay went on to earn their second consecutive win with a 3-1 win over the Wild.
With a true test of the goaltenders in the game against Minnesota, the Lightning showed an extreme amount of discipline, allowing the Wild just two power-play opportunities throughout the game, in which they came up empty-handed on both. They also tallied their third goal on the man-advantage in three games, showing that the Bolts can nip weaknesses in their game and produce results quickly.
The Bolts look to continue their success on home ice Saturday night, going 9-4-1 over their past 14 home contests since the end of last season. They have also scored 19 goals over their past four games at the Times Fourm.
BRUINS – Playing the Lightning’s intrastate rival the Florida Panthers last game, the Bruins earned a 3-2 win in Florida on Tuesday with help from Daniel Paille and Dougie Hamilton. Reilly Smith also scored his first goal as a Bruin with 59 seconds left in the contest to edge the Panthers in their third win against an Atlantic Division opponent this season.
Jordan Caron did not skate with the team on Friday in what head coach Claude Julien called a maintenance day and said he’d be ready to go Saturday, while Carl Soderberg, who has missed all six games this season, was slotted in Caron’s place. The Bruins are also working a seven-man rotating defensive unit to begin the year.
Boston has yet to lose on the road this season with a 2-0-0 mark in opposing buildings thus far.
Sami Salo has collected a point in four straight games, recording one goal, four assists and a plus-7 rating during that span. Teddy Purcell enters tonight’s game with points in five of his past six games (four goals, four assists). The Bruins David Krejci has notched a helper in five out of six games, including his past three contests.
10/16 – Recalled F Brett Connolly from Syracuse (AHL)
Twitter Stat Pack:
The #TBLightning’s power-play ranks eighth in @NHL at 24.1%.
Ranking fourth in the @NHL in face-off percentage at 60.4%, @TJohnny09 also extended his point streak to three games.
Scoring the game-winning goal Tuesday, the tally was @RealStamkos91 30th game-winning goal of his career.
Winning his fifth-straight start Tuesday, @BenBishop30’s five consecutive wins to start this year’s campaign is his best in his career to begin a season.
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