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game preview

Bruins at Lightning preview

Marchand game-time decision for Boston, which can extend Atlantic lead against Tampa Bay

by Corey Long / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

BRUINS (41-13-12) at LIGHTNING (41-19-5)

7:30 p.m.; NBCSN, SNE, SNO, SNP, TVAS, NHL.TV

 

The Game

Brad Marchand will be a game-time decision because of an illness for the Boston Bruins when they try to extend their Atlantic Division lead against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on Tuesday.

The forward did not participate in the morning skate for the Bruins, who have won two straight, are 13-3-0 in their past 16 games and are seven points ahead of the Lightning for first place in the Atlantic and Eastern Conference.

If Marchand, Boston's second-leading scorer with 83 points (27 goals, 56 assists) is unable to play, forward Jake DeBrusk will take his place on the top line with Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak, who leads the Bruins in scoring with 91 points and has an NHL-best 47 goals.

The Lightning are 1-4-0 in their past five games following a Tampa Bay-record 11-game winning streak.

 

Players to watch

Pastrnak has 16 points (nine goals, seven assists) in his past 11 games and 22 points (13 goals, nine assists) in 22 games against the Lightning.

Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov has 31 points (14 goals, 17 assists) in his past 19 games.

 

They said it

"We know they're behind us in the standings. You try to do a good job against those type of teams. Just like us, they added some good players to an already good team. So it's going to be tough games. We're concentrating on tonight's matchup." -- Bruins center Patrice Bergeron

"Both teams have done well over the last few years. [The Bruins] push us to be better and I think that's great. We probably do the same for them. These challenges are exciting and fun to be part of." -- Lightning forward Yanni Gourde

 

Bruins projected lineup

Jake DeBrusk -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Pastrnak

Nick Ritchie -- David Krejci -- Ondrej Kase

Anders Bjork -- Charlie Coyle -- Chris Wagner

Sean Kuraly -- Par Lindholm - Joakim Nordstrom

Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy

Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo

Matt Grzelcyk - Jeremy Lauzon

Tuukka Rask

Jaroslav Halak

Scratched: Anton Blidh, Karson Kuhlman, John Moore

Injured: Connor Clifton (upper body), Kevan Miller (knee), Brad Marchand (illness)

 

Lightning projected lineup

Ondrej Palat -- Brayden Point -- Nikita Kucherov

Blake Coleman -- Anthony Cirelli -- Alex Killorn

Barclay Goodrow -- Tyler Johnson -- Yanni Gourde

Pat Maroon -- Cedric Paquette -- Mitchell Stephens

Victor Hedman -- Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Braydon Coburn -- Zach Bogosian

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Carter Verhaeghe, Luke Schenn

Injured: Steven Stamkos (core muscle surgery), Ryan McDonagh (lower body) Jan Rutta (lower body)

 

Status report

Bjork would enter the lineup if Marchand can't play. … The Lightning had 11 players on the ice for an optional morning skate.

 

Stat pack

Chara will play in his 1,550th NHL game, tying him with Alex Delvecchio for 15th on the League's all-time list. … Krug has 22 points (one goal, 21 assists) in 25 games against Tampa Bay. … The Lightning are 16-3-0 against Atlantic Division teams this season. … Shattenkirk needs one assist for 300 in the NHL.

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