NHL Hockey

Final 1 2 3 Tot
Tampa Bay 1 0 0 1
Boston 1 1 0 2
10:00 AM PT11:00 AM MT12:00 PM CT1:00 PM ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 AM MST12:00 PM EST21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:� BRT, March 25, 2023
TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts  Attendance: 17,850

Bruins streaking again as Lightning come to town

Tampa Bay Lightning at Boston Bruins

  1. Boston has won two of the three meetings with Tampa Bay this season, including a 3-1 victory in the first matchup in Boston back on November 29. Boston has scored three goals or fewer in each of its last six home games against the Lightning, winning each of the last two but dropping all of the previous four (0-2-2).
  2. Tampa Bay allowed four unanswered third-period goals in a 7-2 loss to Ottawa on Thursday, its third straight defeat. The Lightning have gone just 11-10-1 (.523) against Atlantic Division rivals this season -- 20th in the NHL -- compared to 31-15-5 (.657) against all other teams (7th in the NHL).
  3. Brayden Point scored his 45th goal in Thursday's loss, tied for fourth most in Lightning history behind Steven Stamkos (60 in 2011-12, 51 in 2009-10) and Vincent Lecavalier (52 in 2006-07). Point's 45 goals are also the most by a Tampa Bay skater since Steven Stamkos scored 45 in 2018-19.
  4. Steven Stamkos assisted on both Lightning goals Thursday, extending his point streak to five games. The veteran has 39 points (26g, 13a) in 48 career games against Boston and his 26 goals against the Bruins rank second to Alex Ovechkin (28) among active skaters.
  5. The Bruins will clinch the Atlantic Division with a win on Saturday or a Maple Leafs loss in any fashion at Carolina on Saturday night. It would be the 27th division title in franchise history -- most in the NHL -- and the club's third Atlantic Division title -- most in the Atlantic and third-most in the NHL since the 2013-14 realignment (Capitals, five; Ducks, four).
  6. David Pastrnak scored the game-winning goal on Thursday for his 49th goal of the season, later adding an assist for his 599th career point. With his next goal, he'll be the first Bruin to score 50+ goals since Cam Neely in 1993-94.
(AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

Even though the Boston Bruins are already on the cusp of clinching the Atlantic Division, coach Jim Montgomery knows how difficult it is to win in the National Hockey League.

Yet again, a winning streak is growing.

The Bruins (55-11-5, 115 points) will go for their sixth consecutive victory when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday afternoon.

"I know we've won a lot this year, but it really is (hard to win) with the schedule as challenging as it is right now," Montgomery said. "We're playing four games a week, and it's four in six nights consecutively for five weeks, so we're not going to have the most energy we usually have."

Saturday begins the Bruins' third of five straight weekend back-to-backs, the second including a road game following a home game.

Following the game, Boston heads to face Carolina, which became the second team to clinch a Stanley Cup Playoff berth after beating the New York Rangers on Thursday.

David Pastrnak is one goal away from becoming the Bruins' first 50-goal scorer since current team president Cam Neely in 1993-94.

The winger's 49th of the season set a new career-high mark and stood as the game-winner in Thursday's 4-2 win over Montreal.

"He's probably the best at knowing where to go to score goals in this league -- or one of them, if not top three," Jake DeBrusk said. "You just try to take notes, honestly, day to day and see how he does it."

After the Canadiens pulled goaltender Jake Allen, linemate Brad Marchand attempted to set up Pastrnak for the milestone goal with an empty net.

"(This team is) incredibly selfless," Montgomery said. "You see guys sacrificing their bodies blocking shots, you see plays like that. It's not the first time we've seen guys pass up an empty-net goal to try and get somebody else. Whether they're trying to get 20 goals, 50 goals, 800 points, 1,000 points. A lot of milestones this year."

Pastrnak has seven goals and 15 points in his last 11 games.

On Friday, forward A.J. Greer will have a hearing with NHL Player Safety after being assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct for a cross-check to Montreal's Mike Hoffman's face during Thursday's first period.

The Lightning (42-25-7, 90 points) are 5-4-1 in their last 10, having lost three straight -- including Thursday's 7-2 loss to Ottawa -- following a three-game win streak.

Tampa has scored just twice in each of its recent losses, with Thursday's game marking the third since February in which it allowed seven goals. A four-goal third period blew open Ottawa's lead.

"We fed everything they did, and it's unfortunate," Tampa coach Jon Cooper said. "We're having a little tough stretch here, but it's all self-inflicted. I'm just not sure when they're going to learn, but they're learning tough lessons."

Brayden Point and Mikhail Sergachev scored the Lightning goals, both of which were assisted by Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov.

Stamkos has three goals and five assists during a five-game point streak.

On Thursday, though, it was far too little. The Lightning will have to correct the turnover issue quickly while readying for the NHL's best team.

"I think there is a little bit of feeling sorry for ourselves, a tiny bit," Cooper said. "I think that's what makes it tough. They know they're making these mistakes."

--Field Level Media

Updated March 25, 2023

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