Boston Bruins (41-26-13) at Tampa Bay Lightning (49-24-8)
|Date & Time||Saturday April 11, 2015, 7:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Tampa Bay Lightning / Boston Bruins --- Over/Under:
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
Despite controlling their own destiny for the last several weeks, the Boston Bruins are going to need some help if they’re going to be playing playoff hockey this season.
Boston’s collapse is almost complete, and with just one game remaining in their season the club has to do some scoreboard watching as well. The Bruins will know when they take the ice on Saturday night if they’re still alive, because the Ottawa Senators play in Philadelphia against the Flyers on Saturday afternoon.
Boston needs an Ottawa loss in regulation paired with the Bruins defeating the Lightning in some capacity at night. With the way the Senators have played the last two months and the fact that they’re taking on a non-playoff team like the Flyers, things are looking bleak in Beantown.
The Bruins did this to themselves, and despite their lackluster play all season long they still controlled things heading into Wednesday night’s match with the Capitals. Washington shut the Bruins out, and it looked like Boston never recovered.
Patrice Bergeron gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead late in the second period on Thursday night against the Panthers, but Florida’s ability to rebound and tie the game before the end of the period appeared to be extremely deflating for Boston.
The Panthers would score the next two goals in the third period, and though Brad Marchand’s goal got Boston to within one with some time still left on the clock, it just wasn’t enough.
Florida’s 4-2 defeat of the Bruins leaves Boston on the outside looking in and the odds are that when they take the ice again they’ll have been eliminated completely.
Tampa Bay won’t be going down easily either way, as the Lightning are still hoping they can win the Atlantic Division title. The Lightning currently trail Montreal by two points as the teams head into their season finales on Saturday. The Canadiens play in Toronton on Saturday night.
The Lightning didn’t play their best game of the season on Thursday night against the New Jersey Devils, and this club might be looking ahead to the post season at this point.
Tyler Johnson’s 28th goal of the season evened the game at 1-1 in the first period, and Nikita Nesterov’s power play tally gave Tampa Bay a lead after one period of play.
New Jersey would not go away in this one however, and the Devils evened the score twice more to send the game into overtime tied 3-3. With the Lightning on another man advantage it was Tyler Johnson scoring his second goal of the night to lift Tampa Bay to a 4-3 win. Steve Stamkos also scored his 43rd goal of the year on the power play in the second period as the Lightning went 3-for-8 with the man advantage.
How things play on earlier in the day in the Senators-Flyers contest will be important to follow. If the Bruins take the ice with a chance to still get in, expect Boston to bounce back after these last two showings. If not, Tampa should have enough to try and keep their hopes at a division title alive.