Lightning will play Bruins in Eastern Conference Second Round


The Tampa Bay Lightning will play the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Second Round.

Tampa Bay, the No. 2 seed, defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets in five games in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Boston, the No. 4 seed, eliminated the Carolina Hurricanes in five games.

The Lightning defeated the Bruins 3-2 in the round-robin portion of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers on Aug. 5.

Boston (.714 points percentage) and Tampa Bay (.657) were the top two teams in the Eastern Conference during the regular season.

“A round-robin game that could’ve went either way I thought, they scored late with about two minutes to go and we got ourselves back in that game,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “Right before the break (caused by the coronavirus) we had two really good games [against Tampa Bay]. We went up there (a 2-1 win, March 3), they beat us in our building (a 5-3 loss, March 7), both physical, both started to develop some animosity in those games.”

Brayden Point leads the Lightning with 10 points (five goals, five assists) this postseason. Nikita Kucherov (two goals, seven assists) has nine points, and Tyler Johnson has three goals. Andrei Vasilevskiy is 6-2-0 with a 1.98 goals-against average and .927 save percentage.

Video: CBJ@TBL, Gm5: Point scores OT winner to end series

Tampa Bay has played this postseason without forward and captain Steven Stamkos (lower body), and it is unknown if he will be available for the second round.

David Krejci leads the Bruins with nine points (three goals, six assists), and Brad Marchand has seven points (three goals, four assists) this postseason. Patrice Bergeron (two goals, four assists) has six points, and Jake DeBrusk has three goals. Jaroslav Halak is 3-1-0 with a 2.29 GAA and .912 save percentage. Tuukka Rask was 1-3-0 with a 2.57 GAA and .904 save percentage before opting out prior to Game 3 against the Hurricanes.

The Lightning won three of four games against the Bruins during the regular season. Point scored four points (two goals, two assists), and Stamkos (two goals, one assist) and Kucherov (one goal, two assists) each had three points in those games. Vasilevskiy was 3-1-0 with a 2.46 GAA and .928 save percentage.

Pastrnak (three goals, two assists) and Marchand (one goal, four assists) led the Bruins with five points each, and Torey Krug had four assists against the Lightning. Halak did not play against Tampa Bay this season; Rask started each of the four games.

Video: CAR@BOS, Gm1: Marchand, Pastrnak connect for a goal

This will be the third playoff series between the teams. Each team has won once, with the Lightning winning the most recent, in five games in the 2018 Eastern Conference Second Round.

The best-of-7 series will be played at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, the Eastern Conference hub city.

It is the fourth time in six seasons the Lightning have advanced to at least the second round; they were swept by the Blue Jackets in the first round last season.

The Bruins advanced to the second round for a third straight season. They lost the Stanley Cup Final in seven games to the St. Louis Blues last season.

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