3 Keys: Bruins vs. Lightning, Game 2 of Eastern Second Round


No. 4 Bruins vs. No. 2 Lightning


Boston leads best-of-7 series, 1-0

Ryan McDonagh will not play for the Tampa Bay Lightning against the Boston Bruins in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Tuesday.

The defenseman is unfit to play after missing the final 10:56 of the third period of Game 1.

Bruins goalie Jaroslav Halak will look to win his fifth straight start. He is 4-0 with a 1.75 goals-against average and .936 save percentage since goalie Tuukka Rask opted out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Aug. 15.

Halak made 35 saves for a 3-2 win against the Lightning in Game 1 in Toronto, the Eastern hub city, on Sunday.

Andrei Vasilevskiy will start in goal for Tampa Bay after making 28 saves Sunday. He is 6-3-0 with a 2.08 GAA and .925 save percentage in nine postseason games.

Teams that win Game 1 are 485-220 (68.7 percent) winning a best-of-7 NHL playoff series, including a 7-1 record in the first round this season. Teams with a 2-0 series lead are 328-51 (86.5 percent), including 4-0 in the first round.

Here are 3 keys for Game 2:


1. Bruins top line carrying the load

In Game 1, the line of center Patrice Bergeron (one assist), left wing Brad Marchand (one goal, one assist) and right wing David Pastrnak (one goal, one assist) combined for five points.

Pastrnak has four points (one goal, three assists) in two games since being unfit to play the previous three.

Bergeron has scored three points (one goal, two assists) the past two games after being held to four points (one goal, three assists) in his first seven postseason games. Marchand has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his past six games.

“You’re typically not going to advance if your best players aren’t your best players,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said.


2. Playing a full 60

The Lightning were outshot 15-10 in the first period Sunday. They found their game in the second period but were down 2-0 by then. After allowing a third goal, Tampa Bay pulled to within 3-2 on two third-period goals by defenseman Victor Hedman.

“Kind of waited to see what the tone of the game was going to be like,” Lightning defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said. “We waited just a bit too long to be able to recover from it. … Certainly don’t envision our start being an issue going into Game 2.”

The opposite was true for the Bruins, who were encouraged by how they came out in Game 1 but were frustrated by how they played during the second and third. In the second period the Bruins were outshot 18-7 but scored the only goal of the period.

“Have to weather those moments,” Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara said. “Play with composure and patience.”


3. Dormant Lightning power play

Tampa Bay went 0-for-3 on the power play in Game 1 and is 0-for-13 with the man-advantage the past six games. During the regular season, the Lightning tied the Toronto Maple Leafs for fifth in the NHL with a 23.1 percent success rate.

Lightning coach Jon Cooper said the power play hasn’t cost Tampa Bay yet, but could if it doesn’t convert soon.

“You can do some great things on the power play and it doesn’t go in, and you’re saying, ‘What’s wrong with the power play?'” Cooper said. “I’ve told you time and time again, it’s a momentum thing.”


Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — David Pastrnak

Jake DeBruskDavid KrejciOndrej Kase

Nick RitchieCharlie CoyleAnders Bjork

Joakim NordstromSean KuralyChris Wagner

Zdeno Chara — Charlie McAvoy

Torey KrugBrandon Carlo

Matt GrzelcykConnor Clifton

Jaroslav Halak

Dan Vladar

Scratched: Trent Frederic, Zach Senyshyn, John Moore, Urho Vaakanainen, Jakub Zboril, Maxime Lagace, Jeremy Lauzon, Karson Kuhlman, Par Lindholm

Unfit to play: None


Lightning projected lineup

Ondrej PalatBrayden PointNikita Kucherov

Alex KillornAnthony CirelliTyler Johnson

Barclay GoodrowYanni GourdeBlake Coleman

Pat MaroonCedric PaquetteCarter Verhaeghe

Victor Hedman — Zach Bogosian

Braydon CoburnErik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev — Kevin Shattenkirk

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Mathieu Joseph, Jan Rutta, Luke Schenn, Alexander Volkov, Scott Wedgewood, Mitchell Stephens

Unfit to play: Steven Stamkos, Ryan McDonagh


Status report

With McDonagh out, it’s likely Coburn will play his first game this postseason. The 35-year-old is tied for sixth among active defensemen with 134 games of playoff experience. He scored four points (one goal, three assists) in 40 regular-season games.

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