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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, February 21st (All times Eastern)
Boston Bruins (9-2-2) at Tampa Bay Lightning (8-6-1), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - There's nothing worse than getting sick right before a trip to Florida.
For the Boston Bruins, it won't ruin any vacation plans but the club will be tasked with trying to shake off a flu bug plaguing the team ahead of Thursday night's matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Bruins had seven players miss practice due to flu-like symptoms on Tuesday, with the absence of Patrice Bergeron, Gregory Campbell, Daniel Paille, Nathan Horton, Andrew Ference, Adam McQuaid and Anton Khudobin leaving coach Claude Julien with a shorthanded team for practice.
The good news was that all seven players were able to return to action on Wednesday and there will hopefully be no lingering effects of the illnesses.
"It was nice to have a full team, gives us a chance to practice with a little more emphasis on the different things," said Julien. "It's nice to see our guys back."
In addition, Julien will likely have the services of forward Milan Lucic, who missed Sunday's 3-2 victory in Winnipeg due to personal reasons but has since rejoined the team.
The Bruins try to make it back-to-back wins on Thursday after snapping a two- game slide with Sunday's triumph over the Jets. Boston has now split the first two of a five-game road trip and visits the Florida Panthers on Sunday.
Brad Marchand had the game-winning goal on Sunday just 36 seconds into the third period, converting from the bottom of the right circle while on a power play. Tyler Seguin and Paille added goals, while Bergeron had two assists.
Tuukka Rask made 22 saves and survived as a Jets shot as time expired slide across the goal line.
"It was a bit of a yard sale there. Didn't go in, that's all that matters," Rask said.
The Lightning, meanwhile, have followed up a six-game losing streak with consecutive wins over Florida and Toronto. They logged a 4-2 win over the Maple Leafs on Tuesday, getting the game-winner from Alex Killorn and three assists by Benoit Pouliot.
Steven Stamkos added his 10th goal of the season, while Vincent Lecavalier and Matt Carle also scored. Anders Lindback stopped 23 shots in the win.
"This was a lot better effort that we had than when we weren't winning," said Carle. "We still have a lot of things to work on here, but this was a good first step."
This will be the first meeting of the season between the Bruins and Lightning as a Feb. 9 contest in Boston was postponed due to a blizzard. That game will be made up on April 25.
The Bruins have won five of their last seven versus the Lightning overall, but lost both trips to Tampa last season and have dropped five of the past seven as the guest in this series.
02/21 10:42:39 ET