Tampa Bay Lightning Boston Bruins preview

The Lightning will get the chance to exorcise anther demon this afternoon when they take on the Boston Bruins in their second-round robin qualifying game.

The Lightning and Bruins have had some epic battles the last few seasons including the regular season and the playoffs.

The Lightning is coming off a 3-2 shootout win against the Washington Capitals on Monday. This was a game that the Lightning played pretty well outside of a letdown in the second period when the Capitals scored their two goals in two minutes.

We saw a Lightning team on Monday that matched the physical play of the Capitals, and that will be important as they take another big physical team in Boston this afternoon.

The Bruins are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Flyers in their first round-robin game. The Bruins are now 0-2 in the bubble losing their exhibition game to Columbus as well.

The Bruins were 44-14-12 with 100 points and had the best record in the NHL when play was stopped in early March.

Jaroslav Halak started for the Bruins on Monday. He will be replaced by Tukka Rask for the game today against the Lightning.

The Lightning went 3-1 against the Bruins this year.

Although this Bruins team was beaten soundly by the Flyers, this is still a team to reckoned with, and you can’t let your guard down at any point during the game.

The Bruins will come after the Lightning early and try to win the physical battle. The last game of the season between these two teams saw a huge brawl with numerous participants from both teams.

BOSTON – JANUARY 6: Boston Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron, center, is congratulated by teammates David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand,and Kevan Miller after scoring a second period goal for a hat-trick. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

The line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak remains one of the best in hockey.

The defensive pairing of Charlie McAvoy and Zdena Chara continues to be a solid defensive pair. Chara, despite his age, continues to be a very good defenseman.

The Lightning will start Andrei Vasilevskiy in goal against the Bruins after his solid outing against the Capitals.

Steven Stamkos will not play in the game today as he continues to recover from a lower-body injury.

Look for Mitchell Stephens to get more ice time as he scored a goal and won a big draw that helped force a shootout on Monday.

Cooper’s confidence with Stephens continues to grow. As you get deeper into the playoffs, you need to rely on more guys contributing. Stephens is proving that he may be one of those guys for the Lightning.

This will be a very entertaining game. A game where the Lightning has a chance to send a message to the Bruins that this is not the same old Lightning.

Both the Bruins and the Lightning are co-favorites right now from the Eastern Conference to win the Stanley Cup.

I like the Lightning’s chances today.

With a win, the Lightning has a chance to secure one of the top seeds in the East for the playoffs.

Here are three keys to the Lightning winning today.

The Lightning must win the physical battle.

Andrei Vasilevskiy must outplay Tukka rask.

The top line of Point, Palat, and Kucherov must outshine the Bruins top line of Marchand, Bergeron, and Pastrnak.