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This much we know: the Lightning will have 20 skaters available when they play the Bruins tonight in the second of back-to-back games.
Head coach Jon Cooper wouldnât say this morning whether the team would play an extra defenseman as it did in Tuesdayâs 4-3 overtime win or use six as it had for most of the postseason.
So, there might be as much intrigue surrounding the warmup as anything that happens in the game, which has the potential to tilt the conference semifinal series in one teamâs favor or the other.
Will we again see defensemen Braydon Coburn and Luke Schenn in the lineup with Ryan McDonagh still out? Will a forward such as Mitchell Stephens, Carter Verhaeghe or Mathieu Joseph get into the mix? Will Andrei Vasilevskiy or Curtis McElhinney start in goal?
One more, late-developing question: Will they even play? The NHL will hold a moment of reflection before the game in the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting. And while NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said there are currently no plans to postpone any games, he added, âwe will see if the players feel differently and will respond appropriately and as necessary.â
Follow along with us tonight, starting at 8, as the Lightning seek their first lead of the series, which is tied at one game apiece.
Tyler Johnson is in the penalty box to start the period, a good sign for the Lightning.
David Pastrnak whips shot from the lower left circle, but Andrei Vasilevskiy has the side of the net sealed off.
Lightning goal! Okay, Tampa Bay is just showing off at this point. Brayden Point puts the puck through Nikita Kucherovâs legs at the blue line, then between his skates to get around Bruins defenseman John Moore,before backhanding a pass to Kucherov, who pushes the puck between the legs of goaltender Dan Vladar from just in front of the crease. Lightning 7, Bruins 1.
#TBLightning’s Kucherov doesn’t stop. Notches a goal after having a two-assist night. Point will get the assist. #NHLBruins trail 7-1. #TBLvsBOS pic.twitter.com/T32rtpnvPV
Tempers getting the best of everyone, as Blake Coleman, David Krejci and Torey Krug all sent to the showers early.
Lightning goal! Sergachev rockets a shot from the left point, beating Halak under the glove to the far side of the net. Nikita Kucherov sets up the goal with a pass from the lower left circle. Lightning 3, Bruins 0.
Another PPG, this time from #TBLightning’s Sergachev (assists from Kucherov and Point). #GoBolts take 3-0 lead over #NHLBruins. #TBLvsBOS pic.twitter.com/cJXqU83Fwc
Bruins goal. Where have we seen this before? Torey Krug passes from the left circle to Brad Marchand, who gets lost in coverage and tips the puck past Vasilevskiy from the edge of the crease. Lightning 3, Bruins 1.
#NHLBruins’ Marchand puts Boston on the board with their first goal of the night on the power play. They now trail #TBLightning 3-1. #TBLvsBOS pic.twitter.com/86hPpx3WCz
Lightning goal! A diving Alex Killorn scores on a rebound of an Ondrej Palat shot from the right circle. Kucherov gets the second assists. Lightning 4, Bruins 1.
#TBLightning’s Killorn gets **another** power play goal for #GoBolts, who are now 3-4 on the night after going 0-for-16 previously. #NHLBruins trail 4-1. #TBLvsBOS pic.twitter.com/Ya7zwt6qzn
Outstanding defensive play by Zach Bogosian, who lifts Chris Wagnerâs stick from behind to prevent a shot as Wagner broke in alone on Vasilevskiy from the slot.
#NHLBruins’ Halak is out and Dan Vladar makes his NHL debut in Game 3 of the #StanleyCup playoffs against #TBLightning. Well then. #TBLvsBOS pic.twitter.com/MHEMlo3a6D
Lightning goal! Brayden Point scores backhand-forehand on a breakaway after flying the zone and receiving a stretch pass from Alex Killorn. Lightning 5, Bruins 1.
#TBLightning’s Point gets on the board for #GoBolts, their fifth of the night. #NHLBruins now trail 5-1. #TBLvsBOS pic.twitter.com/zMZ3vbF5I0
Tyler Johnson and Torey Krug fight at the other end of the ice. Johnsonâs helmet came off during off during the scrap, and he appeared to hit his head hard on the ice as he went down. Weâll have to keep an eye out for him when the third period begins.
Lightning goal! Yanni Gourde breaks in alone on Vladar, and shoots wide of the net. The puck caroms off the end boards to Alex Killorn, who backhands the rebound into the net. Lightning 6, Bruins 1.
Alex Killorn draws a Brandon Carlo tripping penalty 37 seconds into the game after strong Lightning forecheck.
Brad Marchand steal and pass to Patrice Bergeron in Lightning zone gives Boston a shorthanded opportunity.
With 0:25 to go on the PK #NHLBruins’ Bergeron gets a shorthanded look at #TBLightning’s Vasilevskiy pic.twitter.com/8I2tZXFaHj
David Pastrnak with a couple of nifty moves, putting the puck between his skates, but a shot from the left circle misses wide of the net.
Brayden Point fakes a shot from the right circle and carries behind the net but is taken out of the play.
Brandon Carlo drops his gloves, looking for a fight with Anthony Cirelli, who doesnât oblige. Carlo gives Cirelli a slight shove, then reaches down to pick his gloves back up.
#TBLightning’s Cirelli and #NHLBruins’ Carlo get into a brief scuffle. Carlo drops his gloves, but Cirelli doesn’t. #TBLvsBOS pic.twitter.com/TPrjByAABP
Lightning goal! Ondrej Palat shot from the right faceoff dot deflects off Zdeno Charaâs stick and goes up over Jaroslav Halakâs left shoulder, breaking an 0-for-16 power-play slump. Lightning 1, Bruins 0.
#TBLightning moves the meter. Now 1-16 and take 1-0 lead over #NHLBruins with a one-timer from Palat, who scored OT GWG last night in Game 2. #TBLvsBOS pic.twitter.com/oczmRYhIlT
Lightning goal! Yanni Gourde cuts right to left in front of the net and flips the puck up over Halak after a rush down the right-side boards. Boston defenseman Jeremy Lauzon was taken out by a linesman on the play, giving Gourde a free path to the net. Lightning 2, Bruins 0.
And now we have a 2-0 game for #TBLightning with Gourde scoring seconds after Palat. #NHLBruins player collides with linesman and Gourde finds the open net. #TBLvsBOS pic.twitter.com/BXuQvS3Wm1
Players are on the ice for warmups, which answers the question about whether or not theyâll play.
Pregame roster sheet shows the Lightning with the same lineup as in Game 2, which means 11 forwards and seven defensemen.
Your #TBLvsBOS Game 3 starters!âï¸ Joseph, McDonagh, Rutta, Stamkos, Stephens, Verhaeghe, Volkov, Wedgewoodð¥ Vasilevskiy vs. Halak#GoBolts pic.twitter.com/RMqOgu8U4G
Sean Kuraly, Anders Bjork and Connor Clifton are out of the Bruinsâ lineup. Par Lindholm, John Moore and Jeremy Lauzon are in.
Jaroslav Halak gets the start in goal. Starting back-to-back games for the first time in almost two years.
The NHL’s statement before the Bruins-Lightning Game 3 in Toronto, read by PA announcer Mike Ross and followed by 15-20 seconds of silence: pic.twitter.com/GJphiekpBN
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