be the final meeting between last season’s playoff combatants as the Bruins
look to even the series and prepare for the playoffs. Boston hit some poor form
earlier in the season but has entered a purple patch just at the right time.
Tampa Bay Lightning (35-33-7)
If you think
Tampa Bay Lightning, you’ve got to think Steve Stamkos. In an age of oversized goalie pads, towering
defensemen and traffic jams in front of the net, Stamkos has managed to net 53
goals and give this Lightning squad a chance, albeit remote, to advance to the
Tampa Bay skated in to Philadelphia and skated out with a 5-3 victory. Martin St. Louis, the happy helper who
routinely feeds Stamkos, notched the go ahead goal in the 3rd period
and who else, but Steve Stamkos, contributed early in the game with his 53rd
goal of the season. Dwayne Roloson also
played an integral part, stopping 35 Flyer shots and keeping the Lightning in
the game until they cracked it open in the final frame.
not been an issue this season as Tampa is currently ranked 9th,
averaging 2.8 goals per contest but the defense and goaltending has been
suspect to say the least as they are dead last in goals against, allowing 3.4
per game and their penalty killing unit has been almost equally abysmal,
ranking 28th out of 30 teams.
Boston Bruins (44-28-3)
rocking and rolling to another Northeast division crown as they are now three
points ahead of Edmonton with two games in hand. The Boston Bruins have vacillated between a playoff
bound club and one who exhibits the apathy of a team headed for vacation once
the postseason commences. Some have
opined that this Bruins team was so good earlier this season that they read
their own press clippings and the lethargy kicked in. Whatever the case, Boston appears to be
rounding into playoff form as they reeled off 4 wins in 5 games with their
latest triumph on Sunday night where they got a fine performance from the
recently signed Marty Turco en route to a 3-2 victory over Anaheim.
will be getting the nod in net this evening and he should be well rested, even
if he only had one night off, as his soon to be 38 year old body has borne the
lion’s share of the load this season. He
will be looking to atone for a poor performance when he was summoned in relief
for the bewildered Marty Turco who got his first start in the NHL spending this
season with Red Bull Salzburg of the Austrian Hockey League before signing with
are 29-5-0 with six ties all-time at home against Tampa Bay and scored a 4-1
victory in their last meeting in Boston on October 8th, but dropped the next
two in Tampa Bay including the previously mentioned 6-1 loss on March 13th
The NHL odds
makers are accounting for that domination as the B’s are currently -260 in most
offshore books but we see the Bruins dominating this game after ramping up for
the playoffs over their last several games.
In case the roof falls in at the Garden, we will avoid laying the
ridiculous lumber and believe that Boston is more than a goal better than their
Southeast division rivals.
Play the Bruins -1 ½ goals (+110)