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5 Keys: Bruins at Lightning, Game 5

Boston must replace Krug's production; Tampa Bay seeks to advance to conference final

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer


3 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVAS

Tampa Bay leads best-of-7 series 3-1

The Tampa Bay Lightning will try to advance to the Eastern Conference Final with a win against the Boston Bruins in Game 5 of the second round at Amalie Arena on Sunday.

The Lightning have won the past three games, including 4-3 in overtime Friday, to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.


[RELATED: Complete Lightning vs. Bruins series coverage]


Tampa Bay is 5-0 in Stanley Cup Playoff series when it has a 3-1 lead; the Lightning have won Game 5 four times in such instances. The Bruins are 0-23 when trailing 3-1 in a best-of-7 series.

Here are 5 keys for Game 5:


1. Use rest as motivation

The Lightning had a full week off after defeating the New Jersey Devils in the first round. It gave them a chance to rest and watch the Bruins go seven games with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The rest didn't pay off in Game 1, but maybe it is now. Eliminating Boston in Game 5 would lead to another extended break and more time to watch the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, especially if that series goes seven games.

Video: Rupp discusses Girardi's overtime goal in Game 4


2. Bruins must start on time

Boston has allowed the first goal in each of the past three games and trailed 2-0 within the first 10 minutes of Games 3 and 4. The Bruins have given the Lightning the first power-play chance in each of the past three games.

"We put ourselves in a tough situation always having to come back in games," Bruins center Patrice Bergeron said, "and that's definitely the main thing we need to change right now."

Video: TBL@BOS, Gm4: Bergeron pots PPG off give-and-go


3. 5-on-5 production

The Lightning have outscored the Bruins 6-0 at 5-on-5 in the past two games and 8-2 in the past three.

The key has been the Lightning forecheck. They're hounding the Bruins and creating turnovers. When the Bruins have gotten the puck in the zone, the Lightning have done a good job of getting in shot lanes and keeping them out of the home-plate area in front of the net.

If Boston can change the narrative, they have a better chance of extending the series.


4. Compensating for Krug

Boston defenseman Torey Krug will not play in the rest of the series because of a left ankle injury he sustained in the third period of Game 4. Krug is a significant loss because of how important he is to the power play, which is 4-for-9 in the series, including 3-for-5 in the past two games.

Krug had the primary assist on each of Boston's power-play goals in Game 4. He has seven assists on the power play in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and is tied with Dustin Byfuglien of the Winnipeg Jets in scoring among defensemen with 12 points (three goals, nine assists).

Nick Holden will play, and Matt Grzelcyk will move up to play in Krug's spot on the second defense pair with Kevan Miller. Charlie McAvoy likely will move to the first power-play unit, and Grzelcyk and Zdeno Chara could play more on the second unit.

Video: FLA@BOS: Holden deflects in first goal with Bruins


5. Tampa Bay's penalty kill

If there is one area of concern for the Lightning, it's their penalty kill. That won't be mitigated by the Bruins losing Krug.

The good news is the Lightning haven't given the Bruins an abundance of power plays (nine) and their penalty-killing failures haven't burned them because of how strong they've been at 5-on-5 and because they've also scored one power-play goal in each game in the series (4-for-16, 25 percent).


Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Pastrnak

Ryan Donato -- David Krejci -- Rick Nash

Jake DeBrusk -- Sean Kuraly -- David Backes

Tim Schaller -- Riley Nash -- Noel Acciari

Zdeno Chara -- Charlie McAvoy

Matt Grzelcyk -- Kevan Miller

Nick Holden -- Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: Tommy Wingels, Brian Gionta, Daniel Vladar, Danton Heinen

Injured: Torey Krug (ankle)


Lightning projected lineup

J.T. Miller -- Steven Stamkos -- Nikita Kucherov

Ondrej Palat -- Brayden Point -- Tyler Johnson

Alex Killorn -- Anthony Cirelli -- Yanni Gourde

Chris Kunitz -- Cedric Paquette -- Ryan Callahan

Victor Hedman -- Dan Girardi

Ryan McDonagh -- Anton Stralman

Braydon Coburn -- Mikhail Sergachev

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Louis Domingue

Scratched: Andrej Sustr, Jake Dotchin, Slater Koekkoek, Cory Conacher, Peter Budaj

Injured: Adam Erne (lower body)


Status report

Donato will dress for the second straight game, but Gionta will be a healthy scratch. Gionta and Donato played in Game 4 but were on the ice for Girardi's overtime goal. correspondent Corey Long contributed to this report.




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