The Bruins have been playing their best hockey of the season during their five-game winning streak, and things look like they’re going in a positive direction after their last victory came against the Blackhawks on Sunday. With Bruce Cassidy at the helm, the Bruins are 17-7, and their hopes for making the playoffs will become reality if they defeat the Lightning.
Currently sitting in the second wild spot, the Bruins will clinch a playoff spot with a win tonight over Tampa Bay, and they can certainly do that with the way they’ve been playing lately. Brad Marchand leads the way with 39 goals (4 behind Sidney Crosby) and 46 assists for 85 points (2 behind Patrick Kane for second and 9 behind Connor McDavid for first. Defenseman Kevan Miller who had the game-winning goal against the Blackhawks says that it was huge to win the back-to-back and all the points they can get are big right now.
After a 6-3 win over the Stars on Sunday, Tampa Bay is 5-0-1 in their last six games, as they’re not the only hot team heading into this game. The Lightning are five points behind Toronto, and four behind Ottawa and Boston, and hope to gain ground in this meeting against Boston. Captain Steven Stamkos has still not returned from his knee surgery, and he said he won’t play until he’s 100%, so it's still in question if he'll dress for this one.
The Bruins have their sights on the playoffs, and that will be a lock if they grab the win tonight. In the past four meetings this season, Boston won the first three (4-3, 4-1, 4-3), and the Lightning won the last game (6-3). This will be a good test for the Bruins to determine if they’re ready for the playoffs, and I see them getting the win, 5-3.