|BOS||0||2||1||0||1 (1 - 7)||4|
|TBL||0||3||0||0||0 (0 - 7)||3|
BRUINS (40-17-5) vs. LIGHTNING (34-24-5)
Boston 6-2-2; Tampa Bay 3-7-0
RDS, SUN; AM 970 WFLA
The Tampa Bay Lightning have struggled against their division rival, the Boston Bruins, in 2013-14, going 0-3-0 and being outscored by a combined total of 11-1. Last time the two teams faced each other, Tampa Bay and the Bruins were scoreless when Steven Stamkos left the game with a broken right tibia. Boston went on to score three unanswered tallies.
Losing four out of their last five tilts since re-opening the season on February 27, the Lightning look to turn the corner on just their second game of a six-game homestand. Of the Bolts last 19 games, 13 will be played at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
LIGHTNING – There were loose expectations during the Lightning's last game on Thursday versus Atlantic Division opponent, the Buffalo Sabres, as the Bolts were one day removed from losing their captain and gaining back Steven Stamkos and newly acquired forward Ryan Callahan. Yet a 3-1 final was not the hope against the Sabres, who are statistically the worst team in the National Hockey League. The blame – a lack of net-front presence, mistakes on their transition game and team structure. Head coach Jon Cooper said that these are all things that can be easily fixed though and that he liked the direction Tampa Bay was heading.
In his first game since November 11, Stamkos reported no soreness in his surgically repaired right leg. He logged 21:03 of total ice time with nine shot attempts (five shots on goal, one attempt blocked, three missed shots) and two hits, while going 17-for-24 (71%) in the face-off circle. Ryan Callahan, who played 16:33 in his debut, will be used in more situations Saturday, including the power play. Cooper said he wanted to "ease" Callahan in during his first game with the team Thursday.
While Radko Gudas (lower body) is not expected to play today as he is still experiencing soreness, the Lightning are hopeful that he can return at some point next week after the team reported he is making progress.
BRUINS – Boston embarks on a three-game road trip on a three-game winning streak as they carry over their success from before the Olympic break. Most recently the Bruins handed the Washington Capitals a 3-0 whitewash at TD Garden. It was Tuukka Rask's league-leading sixth shutout of the year and 22nd of his career. Two of those shutouts have come against the Bolts this season, who have scored only one marker on the 26-year-old who won the Bronze medal at the Sochi Olympic Games.
Boston picked up Andrej Medzaros and Corey Potter at the NHL Trade Deadline and though the two did not play in their first game with the club head coach Claude Julien hinted that each of them will play in the near future to see what they could offer before the Bruins upcoming postseason run.
The Bolts penalty kill unit hasn't allowed a goal on the man advantage in each of their past four home games. Defenseman Victor Hedman continues to produce after notching an assist Thursday to give him one goal and 14 assists over his past 13 contests.
|Mar 08 '14||BOS 4 at TBL 3 - SO||R. Smith|
|Nov 11 '13||TBL 0 at BOS 3||P. Bergeron|
|Oct 19 '13||BOS 5 at TBL 0||D. Krejci|
|Oct 03 '13||TBL 1 at BOS 3||M. Lucic|
|M. St. Louis||62||29||32||61||+12||6||9||5|