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LIGHTNING (1-0-0) at BRUINS (0-1-0)
TV: NHL NETWORK-US (HD); SUN (HD), NESN (HD)
Season Series: Tonight’s matchup between the Bolts and Bruins is the first of four meetings on the year. Last season, Boston took three of four regular season meetings from Tampa Bay, including a pair of games at home, before the two clubs met again in the postseason. Following tonight’s contest, the teams will meet again on Jan. 17 and Mar. 13 at the St. Pete Times Forum, with an additional game set for Mar. 27 in Boston.
The Big Story: Tampa Bay pays its first visit to the TD Garden in Boston since falling one goal shy of the Stanley Cup Finals in a 1-0 defeat at the hands of the Bruins in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
LIGHTNING – Tampa Bay continues on its five-game, season-opening road trip tonight in the second contest of the 10-day swing away from home. The Bolts will face the Bruins tonight in what will be the first back-to-back set for both teams, as well as a rematch of last spring’s Eastern Conference Finals. The Lightning kicked off their season last night with a come-from-behind win against the division-rival Hurricanes. Despite a sluggish start that saw the Bolts get behind by a goal early on, Tampa Bay rallied behind a strong 32-save performance by Dwayne Roloson to score five consecutive goals on its way to earning a 5-1 victory. Martin St. Louis, Adam Hall and Ryan Malone each scored even-strength goals, while Tampa Bay went two-for-six on the power play courtesy of an additional pair of tallies with the man advantage from Vincent Lecavalier and Steve Downie.
BRUINS – On Thursday, fans in attendance for the home opener at TD Garden enjoyed the unveiling of the Bruins’ 2011 Stanley Cup Champions banner. What they didn’t like so much was the end result of the game that ensued shortly after the ceremony. The defending champs dropped the first contest of the season in a 2-1 loss to the Flyers, despite notching the game’s first goal on the power play from Brad Marchand midway through the first period. Philadelphia responded by recording a pair of unanswered tallies just 47 seconds apart to end the opening frame, then went on to get two periods of shutout hockey from goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, who earned the win in his Flyers debut. Tim Thomas, who was both hot and cold last season against the Lightning during the Eastern Conference Finals, made 27 saves.
Who’s Hot: Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos each tied for the team lead with two points in the season opener last night at Carolina, while Boston forward Brad Marchand had a goal in the Bruins’ season opener on Thursday night.
Injury Report: LIGHTNING – Mattias Ohlund (knee, placed on Injured Reserve). BRUINS – Steven Kampfer (knee).
Notable Quotable: “We’re not confused about how tough of a battle it’s going to be, especially going against a team that knocked Tampa Bay out last year. Obviously it’s on the minds of everybody. They spent the whole summer celebrating and maybe we can catch them in a little bit of a Cup hangover.” – Lightning forward Ryan Shannon, on the Lightning facing the Bruins after an intense seven-game series in the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals