Berkshire Bank Faceoff: Projected Lines, Pairings For Bruins-Lightning

BOSTON — The Bruins welcome the Atlantic Division-leading Tampa Bay Lightning to TD Garden on Tuesday night for their first meeting of the season.

The Bruins have a healthy roster after being forced to play without several key players, including No. 1 defenseman Zdeno Chara and top-six center David Krejci, for long stretches of the first half of the season. Improved health is among the reasons for Boston’s three-game win streak.

“There’s no doubt you win some games certainly you feel much better about yourselves,” Bruins head coach Claude Julien said. “So that’s, to me, self-explanatory, and our guys are making plays now or feeling a lot more comfortable. You got a Tampa Bay team that likes to play fast, had a tough outing last night no doubt, they’re going to want to bounce back here against us (Tuesday night). We know the importance of this game as well for both teams.”

Tampa Bay will be without its leading scorer, All-Star center Tyler Johnson, and top-pairing defenseman Victor Hedman on Tuesday. Both players suffered injuries in the Lightning’s 7-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night. [tweet https://twitter.com/TBTimes_JSmith/status/555057506180141056 align=”center”]

Boston likely will start Tuukka Rask between the pipes, as he was the last goaltender off the ice after the morning skate. Tampa Bay is expected to start Ben Bishop in net after backup goaltender Evgeni Nabokov began Monday’s blowout loss.

Here are the expected lineups for both teams:

BOSTON BRUINS (22-15-6, fourth in Atlantic)
Brad Marchand-David Krejci-David Pastrnak
Milan Lucic-Patrice Bergeron-Daniel Paille
Reilly Smith-Carl Soderberg-Loui Eriksson
Chris Kelly-Gregory Campbell-Craig Cunningham

Zdeno Chara-Dougie Hamilton
Dennis Seidenberg-Adam McQuaid
Torey Krug-Kevan Miller

Tuukka Rask

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (27-13-4, first in Atlantic)
Alex Killorn-Steven Stamkos-Jonathan Drouin
Ondrej Palat-Vladislav Namestnikov-Nikita Kucherov
Cedric Paquette-Valtteri Filppula-Ryan Callahan
Brenden Morrow-Brian Boyle-Brett Connolly

Jason Garrison-Anton Stralman
Nikita Nesterov-Andrej Sustr
Mark Barberio-Matthew Carle

Ben Bishop

Click for a Bruins-Lightning preview >>

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images

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