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The Bolts and Bruins face off in the second of four meetings on the year. The clubs last saw each other at the TD Garden back on Oct. 8 when Boston earned a 4-1 win powered by a pair of goals from Rich Peverley.
Boston pays a visit to Tampa Bay for the first time since the Lightning beat the Bruins, 5-4, back on May 25 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals for force a decisive seventh game. Since then, things haven’t changed much for the Bruins, who currently sit in second place in the Eastern Conference standings, while things couldn’t be more different for the Lightning, who seek to snap a season-high seven-game losing streak and climb out of last place in the East.
LIGHTNING – Tampa Bay wraps up a two-game home stand Tuesday against the Bruins before heading west for a pair of games on consecutive nights which kicks off Friday in Dallas. Tampa Bay dropped a 6-3 contest to the Penguins on Sunday, handing the team its first seven-game losing streak since the 2008-09 season. The Lightning surrendered each of the first three goals to Pittsburgh, but then got all of them back in a span of 4:50 during the third period to tie the game with more than half the final frame to play. Matt Gilroy notched his first of the year and an additional two tallies came by way of Ryan Malone and Teddy Purcell. Tied up at 3-3 with 13 minutes remaining in regulation, Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin scored twice past Mathieu Garon in a stretch of 1:49 to restore a two-goal lead, and added an empty net tally with 56 seconds to go to complete his eighth career hat trick and prevent the Bolts from gathering their first win of 2012.
BRUINS – Boston visits the Tampa Bay Times Forum to complete the second half of a back-to-back set which began Monday night in Sunrise with a 3-2 shootout win against the Panthers. They’ll go for the sweep in the Sunshine State Tuesday as it faces off against the Lightning. In the midst of a stretch of six out of seven away from home, the Bruins have lacked a bit of their usual luster over the first two games away from TD Garden. After losing 4-2 to Carolina on Saturday, Boston was often sluggish against the Panthers on Monday. Patrice Bergeron scored twice in regulation, as well as once in the tiebreaker to extend the contest, while Tuukka Rask made 38 stops through 60 minutes before denying three of Florida’s four shooters in the shootout.
2012 All-Star Steven Stamkos has a point in all but one of his past 10 games and notched his league-leading 30th goal of the season on Friday at Washington, marking his third-consecutive season of reaching the 30-goal plateau. Bolts captain Vincent Lecavalier has six points in his past four games and has recorded a multi-point game in three of his past four outings. For Boston, David Krejci’s league-best 11-game point streak came to an end Monday, but he did notch the game-winning goal in the shootout to help lift the Bruins to victory.
LIGHTNING – Mattias Ohlund (knee, placed on Injured Reserve), Ryan Shannon (lower body, out 2-4 weeks), Adam Hall (upper body, out 8 weeks), JT Wyman (upper body, day-to-day), Victor Hedman (concussion, out indefinitely), Marc-Andre Bergeron (upper body, day-to-day) and Dana Tyrell.
BRUINS – Brad Marchand (suspension) and Rich Peverley (personal reasons).
“It’s going to be a tough game. They’re killing people. They’re killing people and they’re not just winning, they’ve been destroying teams that have their full staffs. So, we know it’s a huge task. We know that.” – Lightning head coach Guy Boucher, and his thoughts on playing the Boston Bruins
The Lightning's Nate Thompson was drafted by the Bruins in the sixth round (183rd overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Thompson made his NHL debut with the Bruins on October 21, 2006 and played four career games with Boston, while he skated in 216 regular-season and 37 playoff games with the team's AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins, from 2005-2008. Lightning defenseman Matt Gilroy won the Hobey Baker Award in 2008-09 while playing at Boston University. Martin St. Louis and Tim Thomas were teammates at the University of Vermont from 1993-97. Lightning founder Phil Esposito won two Stanley Cups (1970 & 1972) with Boston and set the former NHL record by scoring 76 regular-season goals with the Bruins in 1970-71. Esposito's record was broken by Wayne Gretzky's 92-goal campaign in 1981-82.
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