Well, it wasn’t five overtimes like Jon Cooper had joked about, but the Lightning and Bruins did go to overtime in their first half of this back-to-back, and thankfully, were on the winning end of things.
With Ryan McDonagh out and the Lightning having played seven defensemen yesterday, it’s probably more than likely Jon Cooper chooses to deploy the same lineup again. They got more offense from their forwards, which was a promising sign, and played a much stronger game overall.
Andrei Vasilevskiy will more than likely start tonight — since he only played 4:40 into overtime. At the other end, it’ll probably be Jaroslav Halak again, but Bruins fans seem to think that Cassidy might put backup goalie Dan Vladar in net instead, which would be intriguing. He hasn’t played a game with the Bruins this season, but he does boast an impressive .932 save percentage in 25 AHL games.
The Bruins could also make some personnel changes to their bottom six, as any of Jeremy Lauzon, Jack Studnicka, Karson Kuhlman or Par Lindholm could dress for Game 3. The Lightning’s players will probably remain the same, although if they do go back to 12 forwards, we could see Mathieu Joseph make his debut in these playoffs since he took warmups yesterday.
Tampa Bay’s two blemishes remains a dead powerplay (they can’t get Steven Stamkos back soon enough), and taking too many penalties (they gave Boston four yesterday). Even though they should’ve probably gotten more opportunities on the powerplay themselves, the Lightning dominated at even strength and even outshot the Bruins 9-1 in overtime.
Tonight’s game will be another tough one, but Boston and Tampa Bay have played really good hockey so far. The Lightning’s resiliency was on display yesterday as they fought back from a tough opening goal and had a goal called back after an offside challenge. They’re going to have to dig in deep to win three more games in this series, and hopefully they can get another one tonight.
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