Boston Bruins (36-24-12) at Tampa Bay Lightning (44-21-7)
|Date & Time||Sunday March 22, 2015, 5:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Tampa Bay Lightning / Boston Bruins --- Over/Under:
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+. Start your 7-day FREE trial today!|
The Bruins look to rebound and salvage a split in Florida as they travel from Sunrise to Tampa Bay to take on the Lightning.
The Bruins spoiled a great opportunity to distance themselves in the Eastern Conference wild card race and while they were able to steal one point they dropped a pivotal second to the Panthers – one of the teams chasing them – and are now just a single point up on the streaking Senators. Boston hasn't looked the part all season and while they're still a good team they are not the great team once feared by Eastern Conference foes and to be honest I don't think they're worthy of a playoff spot this season. Boston let some key pieces walk via free agency and while they may not have been marquee names the likes Johnny Boychuk and Jarome Iginla leaving has definitely played a role in Boston's fall this season. They can redeem their loss yesterday with a statement win against one of the league's best teams today but the Lightning aren't fooling around this season and have been the league's top offense basically from day one.
The Lightning are in a dead heat with the Canadiens atop the Atlantic division and not only would finishing first give the victor bragging rights and a division crown it would set up a favourable matchup against a wild card team in the first round which at this rate could very well be these Bruins. Tampa is having an incredible season up front led by Steven Stamkos and Tyler Johnson and those two will be leaned on heavily come playoff time but they do have some great pieces beyond those guys as evidenced by their 233 goals scored this season. Tampa also has a solid net minder in Ben Bishop that doesn't get enough credit for the work he has done and falls into a group of underrated netminders that includes Braden Holtby of the Capitals and Corey Schneider of the Devils. This is a desperation type game for Boston but they're in tough and I don't think Tampa lets them off the hook and I like the Bolts at home to get the win.