NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, October 19th (All times Eastern)
Boston Bruins (4-2-0) at Tampa Bay Lightning (5-2-0), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The surging Tampa Bay Lightning will try to avenge a loss from earlier this season when they host the Boston Bruins in Saturday's clash at Tampa Bay Times Forum.
The Bruins and Lightning, both members of the Eastern Conference's Atlantic Division, opened their seasons against each other on Oct. 3 in Boston. The Bruins claimed a 3-1 victory in that contest as Tuukka Rask turned aside 32 shots to lead the home team to a season-opening triumph.
Anders Lindback surrendered three goals on 25 shots in that loss, Tampa Bay's fifth straight setback against the Bruins. However, Boston has dropped three of five and five of its past eight games in Tampa.
Since losing in Boston earlier this month, the Lightning have won five of six games and enter Saturday riding a two-game win streak. Tampa has outscored the opposition by a combined 8-2 score in its last two contests, beating Los Angeles by a 5-1 score on Tuesday before downing Minnesota 3-1 two days later.
Steven Stamkos' goal with 5:04 remaining in the third period snapped a tie and helped lift the Lightning to a win over the visiting Wild. It was the fifth goal of the season for Stamkos, who is tied with Martin St. Louis for the team lead with 10 points.
Sami Salo sealed the outcome with an empty-net goal in the final seconds.
Tyler Johnson added a power-play tally to support a 25-save performance by Ben Bishop, who is 5-0-0 with a 1.57 goals against average and .943 save percentage.
"It's not just me, it's the guys in front of me," Bishop said of his recent success. "The guys are playing great."
Bishop expects to get the call again on Saturday. He has only faced Boston once in his career, losing a decision on April 5, 2012 while still a member of the Ottawa Senators.
Tampa is 3-1-0 so far on seven-game road trip and will play the fifth contest of the residency Thursday against Chicago.
Boston is 4-2-0 on the season and is coming off Thursday's close win at Florida. Reilly Smith scored with 58.7 seconds to play as the Bruins escaped with a 3-2 win over the Panthers.
Smith scored the game-winner on former Boston goaltender Tim Thomas, who for the first time was facing the team he won a Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe trophy with in 2011. Thomas took the loss after allowing all three goals on 40 shots.
Trailing by a goal, Florida tied the game at the 14-minute mark of the third period after a left circle faceoff win saw Jesse Winchester tip in a Nick Bjugstad shot. Boston, though, took a 3-2 lead with under a minute left as a broken play saw the puck get through several players in front, with Smith backhanding it in from the left side for his first goal of the season.
Daniel Paille and Dougie Hamilton scored the other two goals, while Rask stopped 27 shots for the Bruins.
"Can't say I'm pleased with our game tonight," said Boston head coach Claude Julien. "We started letting up a bit and probably got away from our game, started getting a little cute."
Thursday's win marked the start of a three-game road trip for the Bruins, who will cap the swing Wednesday in Buffalo. Boston is 2-0-0 on the road so far this season.
10/19 10:32:25 ET