Boston Bruins playoff preview: Round 2 against the Tampa Bay Lightning

TAMPA, FL - APRIL 3: David Pastrnak
TAMPA, FL - APRIL 3: David Pastrnak /

The Boston Bruins will be facing off against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2nd round of the playoffs. It will be a tough matchup for the Bruins as they have to deal with some supreme talents on the other side of the ice.

The Boston Bruins were able to make it past the Toronto Maple Leafs but have another challenge ahead. They are facing the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2nd round of the playoffs. The Bruins were relatively successful against the Lightning in the regular season, but the playoffs are a whole different ballgame.

There are three main guys that the Bruins need to focus on. Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and Andrei Vasilevskiy. Kucherov is probably the best winger in the league right now. This season he had 39 goals and 61 assists to secure his first 100 point season.

Steven Stamkos is an amazing center who scored 27 goals and had 59 assists. Stamkos is deadly around the faceoff circle. His one-timers look like they were shot out of a sniper rifle.

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Then finally we have their goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. He is coming off of his best season as a starter. He boasts a 44-17-3 record with a .920 save percentage. The stat that shows Vasilevskiy’s dominance the most is his eight shutouts. He was a man on fire at times this season.

An under the radar guy to watch is J.T. Miller. The Lightning acquired him at the trade deadline and he scored 23 goals and 35 assists in the regular season. He has been pretty successful in the playoffs with a goal and three assists.

A much better matchup

The Bruins were the better team in the regular season. Even though the Lightning finished at the top of the conference, the Bruins were 3-1 against Tampa Bay in the regular season.

Overall the Bruins match up well with the Lightning. The Lightning aren’t as deep as the Maple Leafs, but Stamkos and Kucherov are otherworldly players.

The Bruins are a much deeper team. The Bruins have the edge in depth on the offensive side. The only weakness for the Bruins right now is their goaltending. I also expect the Bruins defense to play much better this series. The Lightning won’t be making stretch passes like Toronto. They are a more conventional dump and chase team especially since they lack the youth, and speed that the Leafs posses.


Tom Dufton: Bruins in 7 games

Dylan Woods: Lightning in 7 games

Tarringo Basile-Vaughan: Bruins in 7 games

Jason Haskins: Bruins in 6 games

Tre Wiggins: Bruins in 6 games

Ben Porter: Bruins in 7 games

This is definitely going to be a close series. The Bruins won’t be breezing by and getting some time to rest due to the series ending early. I think the Bruins will win in 6 games. The Lightning are a great team, but they aren’t deep. They rely a lot on Stamkos and Kucherov to jumpstart the offense. If the Bruins can lock down these guys they will be in good shape.

Player to watch

The Bruins success relies on Tuukka Rask. He needs to only allow one or two goals a game. If Rask continues to play poorly Bruce Cassidy may be forced to put Anton Khudobin in net.

I really hope Rask has a bounce-back series. The Bruins need him to be a solid goaltender. The Bruins can’t make up two-goal deficits every game. If the Bruins want to go far they will need to have quality goaltending.

This will definitely be a fun series to watch. The Lightning have two of the best players in the league, but I think Boston’s depth will be the x-factor.

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The series kicks off at 3 o’clock on Saturday. The Bruins will look to jump out to a 1-0 lead and take control of the series.