3 Keys: Bruins vs. Lightning, Game 5 of Eastern Second Round

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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 BergeronDavid Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk — David KrejciOndrej Kase

Nick Ritchie — Charlie CoyleAnders Bjork

Joakim NordstromPar LindholmKarson Kuhlman

Zdeno CharaCharlie McAvoy

Torey KrugBrandon Carlo

Matt GrzelcykConnor Clifton

Jaroslav Halak

Dan Vladar

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 PointNikita Kucherov

Alex KillornAnthony CirelliTyler Johnson

Barclay Goodrow — Yanni Gourde — Blake Coleman

Pat MaroonCedric Paquette

Victor HedmanErik Cernak

Mikhail SergachevKevin Shattenkirk

Braydon CoburnZach Bogosian

Luke Schenn

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Mathieu Joseph, Jan Rutta, Alexander Volkov, Scott Wedgewood, Mitchell Stephens, Carter Verhaeghe

Unfit to play: Steven Stamkos, Ryan McDonagh

 

Status report 

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. 

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