The Boston Bruins will face off against division rival Tampa Bay Lightning. This is a huge matchup for both teams because both are powerhouses in the division and it will be a battle for first. Tampa Bay is still loaded on both ends of the ice but has a chip on their shoulder from their first-round exit last year against Columbus. Tampa is coming into this game hungry for revenge after the embarrassment of the playoffs but so are the B’s. The Bruins are coming off a good win against the Ducks in which David Pastrnak scored four goals. The Bruins offense is coming from their top line but it might be hard for them to produce in this game since it will be strength against strength.
The Bruins are going to need some secondary scoring and that’s going to be more difficult with the loss of David Krejci. Krejci is dealing with some injuries right now and has skated with the team but it looks like he will be missing another game. He will be missed but it is time for Charlie Coyle to take over the second-line center role with Brett Richie and Jake Debrusk on his sides. Coyle has been playing on a different level and if he can jump up into this role of second-line center it would be a gamechanger for the B’s.
Lindholm looks to be entered back into the lineup with the absence of Krejci as they need somebody to center the third line. Lindholm has underwhelmed so far but a good performance in this game could really spark his solid 2-way play which ultimately got him signed here.
Connor Clifton will also reenter the lineup after being scratched on Monday. Steven Kampfer will in his place. Tuukka will be in net tonight and they B’s have had a good 1,2 punch with the goaltenders so far. Halak has played really well and so has Rask but if we start to see the October struggles I wouldn’t be surprised to see Halak.
The lines are the usual except Coyle goes up and Lindholm enters the lineup and Backes will be the healthy scratch.
We’ll see if the Bruins second-period struggles will bite them in the ass tonight or if they’ll clean up the mess. Getting these two points and getting the win against Tampa would be a good start to the year and then they have a quick turnaround for a Home and Home against another division rival Toronto Maple Leafs.
Photo from Boston Herald