Lightning Host Final Two Home Games Before Playoffs
Boston Bruins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Monday, March 25, 7:30 p.m. Season Series: Tied 1-1
Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday, March 30, 7 p.m. Season Series: Tampa Leads 2-0
The Tampa Bay Lightning’s string of tough late-season opponents continues this week as the team closes out the regular-season portion of its home schedule with games against Boston and Washington.
Chances are pretty good that Tampa could see both the Bruins and Capitals in the playoffs in the coming month. Tampa defeated Boston in five games in last year’s playoffs, but saw its season come to an end in a seven-game series loss to Washington.
The Bolts are 9-2 going into the two final games games against Boston and Washington. Thus far in the month of March with seven wins coming against teams that are in the playoff hunt. That schedule doesn’t get any easier, as five of the team’s final six games are against teams that are in the playoff hunt or have secured a postseason spot.
Playoff Tickets on Sale March 30:
Fans can purchase single-game playoff tickets beginning March 30 at 10 a.m. at www.TampaBayLightning.com/tickets or on Ticketmaster. Dates and times for playoffs games will be announced at a later date.
About the Lightning:
Who’s Hot: The Lightning wrapped up their first President’s Trophy in team history more than a week ago. That means Tampa is guaranteed to finish with the best record in the league and gives the team home-ice advantage throughout the NHL Playoffs. Tampa’s loss at St. Louis in its last outing snapped a seven-game streak. The streak was the team’s fourth of seven games or more this season. Another winning streak could be well on its way beginning with home games against Boston and Washington. Tampa is 15-1-1 after a loss this season.
Who’s Not: The Lightning have suffered 14 losses in regulation this season and four more in overtime/shootouts. The majority of those losses have come against the NHL’s Western Conference. Tampa is 18-9-2 against the west this season. Nashville and St. Louis – both western conference teams – are the only two teams to sweep the Lightning this season.
About the Bruins:
Boston comes into Tampa for the third meeting with the Bolts this season on a four-game winning streak. The Bruins won the last meeting with Tampa 4-1 in Boston, taking advantage of a tired Tampa squad that had played three overtime games in a row, including one the night before in New York.
Boston comes into Monday night’s matchup tied with Calgary for the second-best record in the league and appears to be headed for another first-round playoff matchup with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The winner of that series will meet the winner of the Lightning’s opening-round series against the No. 2 wild card team in the eastern conference.
Boston officially clinched a playoff spot with a 7-3 win against Florida on Saturday night.
A mainstay on the Boston blue line, The Bruins will rely heavily on the services of captain Zdeno Charo against the top offensive team in the league. At 6 foot 9 inches tall – without skates on – Charo creates a tough path to the goal for any opposing offense, helping lead a defensive unit that has given up only 189 goals this season, third least in the NHL.
Winger Brad Marchand leads the Boston offense and is tied for sixth in the league with 92 points this year.
About the Capitals:
The Washington Capitals got what the Tampa Bay Lightning wanted last season: The Stanley Cup. That came at the expense of the Lightning in a wild eastern conference final in which the road team won the first four games in the best-of-seven matchup. Tampa managed to win Game 5 of the series at Amalie Arena before Washington’s defense held the Lightning scoreless in a pair of wins in Games 6 and 7 to close out the series.
Team captain Alex Ovechkin stated the scoring for Washington in Game 7 last year and has continued to be the Caps’ leading scorer this season. Ovechkin has found the back of the net 48 times this season, which leads the league.
Ovechkin helps lead an offense that ranks fifth in the NHL with 3.52 goals per game in 2018-19.
Saturday night’s game is an important one for Washington, which comes into the week one point ahead of the New York Islanders for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division.
The Caps and Lightning have seen each other twice this month, playing two hard-hitting games that resulted in wins for Tampa. The Bolts scored three goals in the first and third periods for a 6-3 win at home against Washington on March 16 before Washington tied the second meeting this past Wednesday in the final seconds of regulation to send the game into overtime. Victor Hedman put the finishing touches on the 5-4 Tampa win with an overtime tally.
How to Watch:
Vs. Boston: Sun Sports/FOX Sports Florida Vs. Washington: Sun Sports/FOX Sports Florida, NHL Network Stream live on the FOX Sports App
How to Listen:
Local Broadcast: 970-AM (WFLA)
Tampa closes out its regular season with four road contests, beginning with Ottawa (April 1) before meetings with Montreal (April 2), Toronto (April 4) and Boston (April 6).
Content provided by Shawn LaFata and the Tampa Bay Lightnings