Boston Bruins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning: The Back-to-Back Begins

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Bruins have not played back-to-back games since the end of January, but are about to do just that when they welcome the Tampa Bay Lightning to Boston for a 1 p.m. matinee today.

When last these two teams met, it was down in Florida and the Bruins won 4-2 on the strength of goals from Nathan Horton (twice), Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. If winter storm Nemo had never happened, this would be the last meeting between these two teams for the season, but now they will meet once more in late April.

Yesterday, Anton Khudobin claimed that he would be starting in net today. But when reporters asked coach Claude Julien if that was true, it sounded like Coach wasn’t aware of what Khudobin had said. Still, the official line all along was that Khudobin will definitely be playing more during this busy month of March. He hasn’t faced the Lightning before, but Tuukka Rask has and has a 2-2-0 record with a 3.54 goals-against average and .878 save percentage. However, he did play last time against the Lightning and got the win.

Update: Coach has officially confirmed that Khudobin will get the start today against Lightning backup Mathieu Garon.

Neither team is completely satisfied with their most recent game. In Tampa Bay’s case, they were brutally out-shot by the New York Rangers and allowed 20 shots in the first period alone, losing 4-1. Coach Guy Boucher said his team wasn’t even ready to play. Meanwhile, the Bruins beat the streaking Ottawa Senators thanks to a slow-moving overtime goal, but even with the two points, some of the team said that it wasn’t their best effort ever.

A lot of the team took a day off from practice yesterday and did off-ice work–despite the fact that yesterday was a special practice for season ticket holders (whoops!)–so Daniel Paille said that he thinks the rest will help the team get off to a faster start than they did against Ottawa.

Now for the Bruins with good numbers against Tampa Bay: Zdeno Chara (seven goals and 24 assists in 50 games), Bergeron (seven goals and 19 assists in 28 games), Horton (26 goals and 20 assists in 45 games), Marchand (three goals and four assists in eight games), Rich Peverley (seven goals and six assists in 21 games), Milan Lucic (six goals and four assists in 18 games) and David Krejci (four goals and 10 assists in 21 games).

Today’s game is both a matinee and a game in which the Bruins are wearing their third jerseys. Both of these attributes have been a problem for them in the past, but not always. Perhaps they can work past the stigma of these two things starting at 1 p.m. today.

 

Emma Harger is a Boston Bruins and NHL writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter, like her on Facebook and add her to your network on Google.

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