Bruins Barely Have the Edge Against the Tampa Bay Lightning


Mar 1, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski (43) checks Washington Capitals right wing Troy Brouwer (20) during the second period at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Bruins, fresh off of a 3-0 victory against the Washington Capitals on Thursday night, will take their talents to Florida in hopes of defeating Eastern Conference’s 5th place squad, the Tampa Bay Lightning.

It will be hard for the Bruins to overlook the Lightning considering the high-caliber offensive firepower they enjoy with Steven Stamkos back in the lineup. Stamkos, fully recovered from his broken leg injury suffered in November 2013, tallied nine shots against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday. Unfortunately, Enroth saved every single attempt, as the Sabres downed Tampa Bay, extending the Lightning’s losing streak to three games.

Valtteri Filppula has really embraced the role of his team’s best goal scoring weapon. He currently leads the Bolts with 20 goals and is tied for 4th on the team in assists.

Teddy Purcell is also a reliable forward and an above average playmaker. 23-year-old Tyler Johnson has also blossomed into a go-to player with Stamkos sidelined with injury. He has displayed his ability to put pucks in the net despite spending most of his time in the AHL last year.

Without Stamkos, these players for the Lightning are a tandem that should conquer most of the NHL’s weaker teams.

However, if these skaters were to battle the Bruins, I would definitely give a heavy advantage to the B’s if their goal scorers were riding a well-built win streak.

This condition, though, is not the case tonight.

Stamkos is back and has clearly displayed the fact that he hasn’t lost a step returning from a brutal injury. Nine shots on goal. Come on.

Therefore, the Bruins will have to outpace the Lightning in this one. They can’t let Stamkos dictate the outcome like Ovechkin did about a week ago.

Plus, this game is taking place in Tampa Bay, so the Bruins’ level of consistency will be tested.