No. 4 Bruins vs. No. 2 Lightning
7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS
Tampa Bay leads best-of-7 series, 3-1
The Tampa Bay Lightning will look to advance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a win against the Boston Bruins in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Monday.
Tampa Bay has won the past three games since losing 3-2 in Game 1 and has outscored Boston 10-2 the past two games in Toronto, the East hub city.
Andrei Vasilevskiy has started each of the Lightning’s 12 games this postseason. He is 9-3-0 with a 1.98 goals-against average and .927 save percentage.
Bruins goalie Jaroslav Halak has lost three straight starts after winning his previous four.
Tampa Bay could reach the Eastern Conference Final for the fifth time since 2011 and first time since 2018, when it lost in seven games to the Washington Capitals.
Boston is trying to avoid playoff elimination after advancing to the Stanley Cup Final last season, when it lost to the St. Louis Blues in seven games.
Teams that have a 3-1 lead are 284-29 (90.7 percent) winning a best-of-7 NHL series, including 6-0 this postseason.
Here are 3 keys for Game 5:
1. Palat leading the way
Ondrej Palat was held without a goal in his first nine games this postseason. Since then, he has four goals in his past three games.
Palat scored in overtime of Game 2 before having a goal and an assist in Game 3 and scoring twice in Game 4. If he gets a goal Monday, he would tie the longest playoff goal streak in Lightning history.
Steven Stamkos (2015, 2018), Vincent Lecavalier (2007) and Martin St. Louis (2003) each scored in four straight games.
“He’s always the guy that’s talked about the least,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “It’s probably unfair to him, but it’s probably just the way he likes it.”
2. Bruins reigniting offense
Boston scored three goals in each of the first two games of this series, but had one goal in each of the two games since.
The Bruins have not scored 5-on-5 since Brad Marchand forced overtime with a goal at 16:02 of the third period in Game 2. Marchand was held without a point in Game 4 after having 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in his previous eight games.
“You need your core guys,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “And I believe they’ll lead us.”
3. Keeping composure
Down 2-0 in Game 4, Bruins forward Nick Ritchie hit Lightning forward Yanni Gourde into the boards, leading to a five-minute major penalty. Victor Hedman scored with 28 seconds remaining on that power play to give Tampa Bay a 3-0 lead at 18:04 of the second period.
The Lightning took three penalties in the first 5:05 of the third period. Jake DeBrusk scored on a power play, pulling Boston to within 3-1 at 7:04 of the third.
More discipline could be needed to either hold onto a lead or avoid falling too far behind in Game 5.
“We can stay out of the penalty box,” Lightning forward Barclay Goodrow said. “That would probably be a good start.”
Bruins projected lineup
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk — David Krejci — Ondrej Kase
Nick Ritchie — Charlie Coyle — Anders Bjork
Joakim Nordstrom — Par Lindholm — Karson Kuhlman
Zdeno Chara — Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug — Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk — Connor Clifton
Scratched: Trent Frederic, Zach Senyshyn, Urho Vaakanainen, Jakub Zboril, Maxime Lagace, Jeremy Lauzon, John Moore, Jack Studnicka
Unfit to play: Sean Kuraly, Chris Wagner
Lightning projected lineup
Ondrej Palat — Brayden Point — Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn — Anthony Cirelli — Tyler Johnson
Barclay Goodrow — Yanni Gourde — Blake Coleman
Pat Maroon — Cedric Paquette
Victor Hedman — Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev — Kevin Shattenkirk
Braydon Coburn — Zach Bogosian
Scratched: Mathieu Joseph, Jan Rutta, Alexander Volkov, Scott Wedgewood, Mitchell Stephens, Carter Verhaeghe
Unfit to play: Steven Stamkos, Ryan McDonagh
Cooper did not update the status of McDonagh. The defenseman has been unfit to play the past three games. … Kuraly practiced Sunday and is progressing, Cassidy said. The forward has missed the past two games. … Ritchie and Wagner missed practice Sunday. Ritchie will be a game-time decision and Wagner, a forward, will not play, Cassidy said.