Last 10: Tampa Bay (4-3-3); Boston (6-1-3)
Season Series: Tonight’s game in Boston marks the first of four meetings between the Bruins and the Lightning. Boston will visit the St. Pete Times Forum twice this season, making stops in Tampa on Dec. 28 and Feb. 11. The Bolts wrap up the 2009-10 series when they make their second and final visit to TD Garden on Mar. 25.
The Big Story: Boston has put its slow start to the season, marked by injuries, behind them, winning five of their last six. Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas has won four of five against Tampa Bay at the Garden, but Vincent Lecavalier has found equal success against the Northeast division opponent, netting nine goals and tallying 11 assists in 20 games.
LIGHTNING – The Bolts head to Boston for their fourth game in six nights, which also marks the first contest of a two-game road trip. On Friday, the Lightning will battle the Devils at the Prudential Center. Tonight's game is the Lightning's fifth on the road this season against a Northeast division opponent. In four contests, twice at Ottawa and once at both Toronto and Montreal, the Bolts picked up five out of a possible eight points. Goaltender Antero Niittymaki went unbeaten in regulation in three of those contests, posting a 2-0-1 record. Both Ryan Malone and Alex Tanguay recorded points in three out of the four games against the Senators, Maple Leafs, and Canadiens in their home arenas.
BRUINS – Boston comes into the final match of its current three-game home stand with only one loss in their last six games, a 2-1 shootout defeat to the Devils on the day after Thanksgiving. The Bruins have also gone 6-1-3 in their last 10 and are a healthier team than they were at the season’s start. Boston’s two leading scorers last season, Marc Savard and David Krejci, both missed time due to injuries, as did net minder Tim Thomas and Milan Lucic. Lucic is currently expected to miss a month after injuring his ankle.
- Boston’s Marc Savard has recorded three points in as many games and Byron Bitz has two points in his last three.
Injury Report: LIGHTNING – None; BRUINS – Milan Lucic (ankle, out indefinitely).
Quotable: “Everybody wants the shot. Everybody wants the pretty play. But every once in a while, you have to get ugly with.” – Rick Tocchet.