They heavily outmatched the Flyers, averaging a whopping five goals per game during the four-game sweep. The Bruins will be without star forward Patrice Bergeron, who leads the team with 12 postseason points, but their top line of Nathan Horton, David Krejci and Milan Lucic remains intact and firing on all cylinders.
The Bruins have struggled on the power play this postseason, although they finally managed to tally a goal with the man advantage against the Flyers, finishing the series at 2-for-16.
The Lightning boasted the eighth-best penalty kill during the regular season, and has allowed only three power-play goals in the 54 times they have been down a man this postseason, so the Bruins will certainly have the odds stacked against them.
The B's will also have the odds stacked against them when it comes to containing the Tampa Bay power play. The Lightning's 12 power-play goals this postseason are the most of any team. They have scored on 26.7 percent of their opportunities.
During the regular season, the Bruins' penalty kill was in the middle of the NHL pack, and they've remained at that level through the first two series. But you can bet that Claude Julien's squad has been working hard toward preparing for Tampa's potent scorers.
Tim Thomas has been stellar — just as he was during his Vezina-worthy regular season. He single-handedly saved the Bruins on multiple occasions in the first two series, especially against Montreal when one goal usually meant the difference between winning and losing.
Thomas' defense helped him a great deal, as it has throughout all of 2010-2011. The Bruins pride themselves on clogging up the opponent's shooting lanes and forcing low-percentage shots, which is a major reason that they allowed the second fewest goals per game this season.
Toughness, of course, has a lot to do with that defensive success as well. The Bruins have showed that they aren't a team that is going to be pushed around, displaying great instincts when it comes to deciding whether to drop the gloves or remain disciplined.
But what is the biggest key to victory for the Bruins against the Lightning? Share your thoughts below.
Tuesday, May 10th: Which second- or third-line forward needs to step up most for the Bruins in Patrice Bergeron's absence?
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