Going into the third game of the first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series between the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals both teams have won one game each and both of the previous two games needed overtime to decide a winner.
Tonight, after playing in the Nation’s Capital for the first two games, the B’s return to TD Garden for the next two games. This is a perfect time for the Black and Gold to return to Boston after tying up the series at one game each with a come-from-behind overtime victory in Game 2.
With a win on home ice tonight, Boston can take a 2-1 series lead and gain full control of the momentum of the series with Game 4 also being at TD Garden. If the B’s can win tonight and take a 2-1 lead in the series they’ll have a historical chance of 67.6% to win this series.
While Boston had the right formula on offense by shooting often and then following the shot and crashing the net, they’ll need to make changes on their defensive strategy to win tonight. The B’s have allowed the Caps to screen Tuukka Rask without any punishment or restriction, that needs to end tonight.
Boston Bruins – Washington Capitals Game 3 projected lineups.
Boston Bruins (3rd seed)
Series tied 1-1
The B’s will be going with the same lineup as Game 2. Defenseman Jeremy Lauzon is still out with a hand injury, so he will not play tonight. Tuukka Rask once again starts between the pipes with Jeremy Swayman backing him up.
Expect the Bruins to look like this tonight:
Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak
Hall – Krejci – Smith
Ritchie – Coyle – DeBrusk
Kuraly – Lazar – Wagner
Grzelcyk – McAvoy
Reilly – Carlo
Clifton – Miller
Washington Capitals (2nd seed)
Series tied 1-1
Caps’ coach Peter Laviolette refuses to reveal what his lineup will look like tonight. The odds are it’ll look significantly different from Game 2 as Evgeny Kuznetsov has been cleared and can play tonight if Laviolette thinks he’s ready after missing two-and-a-half weeks due to COVID.
Additionally, there’s the chance that goaltender Ilya Samsonov starts tonight as he was cleared for Game 2 but Laviolette decided to keep him scratched as he wasn’t ready to return after missing about two weeks because of COVID.
While the Caps could get a couple returns tonight in Kuznetsov and Samsonov, they may also find themselves missing a couple of players as T.J. Oshie didn’t take part in morning skate and Lars Eller is questionable with an injury.
Overall, Washington may be significantly handicapped tonight if they are missing all three of Kuznetsov, Oshie, and Eller. However, I think the odds of both Oshie and Eller not playing tonight are very slim.
If Eller and Oshie both play tonight and Kuznetsov isn’t ready to return, expect the same lineup from Game 2 for the Caps. If Samsonov isn’t ready to start tonight, the odds are he won’t be dressed, just like Game 2, and Craig Anderson will be back between the pipes.
Capitals’ Game 2 lineup:
Ovechkin – Backstrom – Mantha
Sheary – Eller – Raffl
Sprong – Oshie – Wilson
Hagelin – Dowd – Hathaway
Orlov – Carlson
Dillon – Schultz
Chara – Jensen
Where and when to watch Boston Bruins – Washington Capitals Game 3.
Time: 6:30 PM EST
Location: TD Garden
TV Broadcast: NESN, NBCSWA, NBCSN, TVAS, SN360, SNE, SNO, SNP
Radio Broadcast: 98.5 The Sports Hub
As I mentioned earlier, the B’s have a great chance to take all of the momentum in this series tonight with a win. They have the right formula on offense, but need to figure things out on defense, especially in front of their own net.