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Preview: Bruins at Lightning

Goaltender Tuukka Rask starts for Boston; Ben Bishop returns for Tampa Bay

by Corey Long / NHL.com Correspondent

BRUINS (25-21-6) at LIGHTNING (22-22-6)

7:30 p.m. ET; SN, SN1, TVA Sports, SUN, NESN, NHL.TV

 

Bruins team scope

The Boston Bruins play the first of back-to-back game hoping to put more space between themselves and Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division standings. The Bruins lead the Lightning by six points, but Tampa Bay has two games in hand. "We're going to focus on one game at a time," coach Claude Julien said. "We have a tough one against a team that is trying to get back in the [playoff race] and a tough one [Wednesday] against Washington. It doesn't get any easier." Forward Brad Marchand said the final 30 games are going to go by quickly and the Bruins need to play every night like a playoff spot is on the line. "It's going to be a fight to the end," Marchand said. "It's going to come down to the last couple of games. We've got to make sure we're in that fight." Goalie Tuukka Rask, who played Sunday in the Honda 2017 NHL All-Star Game, will start; Julien said he hasn't decided if Rask will start Wednesday in Washington.

 

Lightning team scope

The Lightning return to Amalie Arena for a four-game homestand after going 2-2-2 on a six-game road trip; the wins came against the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks. "I really liked the way we were playing, and that's the just kind of defensive attitude we need to have," coach Jon Cooper said. "We know deep down we deserved a little better fate than that [record]." Forward Alex Killorn said the Lightning have to take advantage of their two games in hand on the Bruins. "I think we're fortunate that other teams haven't been doing as well either," Killorn said. "We have an opportunity to get some much-needed points against teams we are trying to catch." Goaltender Ben Bishop will start after Andrei Vasilevskiy played the final two games of the road trip.

 

Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Pastrnak

Frank Vatrano -- David Krejci -- David Backes

Matt Beleskey -- Ryan Spooner -- Riley Nash

Tim Schaller -- Dominic Moore -- Jimmy Hayes

Zdeno Chara -- Brandon Carlo

Torey Krug -- Adam McQuaid

Colin Miller -- Kevan Miller

Tuukka Rask

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: Austin Czarnik, Joe Morrow, John-Michael Liles

Injured: none

 

Lightning projected lineup

Ondrej Palat -- Vladislav Namestnikov -- Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn -- Tyler Johnson -- Brayden Point

Brian Boyle -- Valtteri Filppula -- Jonathan Drouin

J.T. Brown -- Cedric Paquette -- Gabriel Dumont

Victor Hedman -- Anton Stralman

Jason Garrison -- Andrej Sustr

Luke Witkowski -- Braydon Coburn

Ben Bishop

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Scratched: Jake Dotchin

Injured: Ryan Callahan (hip), Steven Stamkos (knee injury), Michael Bournival (upper body), Adam Erne (broken foot)

 

Status report

Julien said Carlo is ready to go after leaving Thursday with a lower-body injury. … Point, who's been out with a hand injury, practiced Monday and wore a regular jersey during the morning skate, but Cooper would not confirm that he'll play. Kucherov and Hedman did not participate in the morning skate after flight delay issues coming back from the All-Star Game in Los Angeles but are expected to play.

 

Who's hot

Marchand has four games in his past two games. Bergeron has two goals and four assists in the past five games. … Johnson has three points in the past three games.

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