Game 1 Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning @ Boston Bruins

The Tampa Bay Lightning open the 2013-2014 regular season tonight at TD Garden against the Boston Bruins.

Last season, the Bolts struggled mightily against the superior Bruins, who dominated in almost every major statistical category en route to a season sweep, winning all 3 games in 2012-2013. As has been noted elsewhere, the Boston franchise has had Tampa Bay’s number since the Lightning came into the league. The Bolts are 20-43-9-5 all-time against the Bruins.

Last season, the Bruins led the league in Goals For %, scoring an incredible 60.0% of the goals in the games they played. That number is not buoyed by an unsustainably high shooting percentage or save percentage, as the the Bruins PDO sat neatly at 101.9, barely above 100 which the number tends to regress towards. On the other hand, the Lightning were a fancy stat mess last season, with a meager 40.5 goals for % (3rd worst in the league) not unduly influenced by bad luck (98.3 PDO).

So why was Boston so much more effective at scoring and preventing goals than the Lightning in 2012-2013? As usual, puck possession tells a big part of the story. Boston was a terrific puck possession team last season, in the top 5 in the NHL for both Corsi For % and Fenwick For %, while the Lightning sat in the bottom 5 in both category. Tonight, as Jon Cooper’s new system and roster debut, we’ll see just what the Lightning have been able to do to fix glaring puck possession deficiencies that have plagued the Bolts the past two seasons.

Finally, look for the Lightning to try and find some secondary scoring tonight against Boston if they’re looking to start the new season with a win. Last year, in 3 games versus the Bruins, only 5 players recorded a point — and two of them are no longer with the Lightning (Cory Conacher, Marc-Andre Bergeron). If Steven Stamkos is the only player capable of scoring on Tuukka Rask, the Lightning are in for a long season in their new division.

Active Rosters

Boston (22)

# Name Position
11 Gregory Campbell FW
12 Jarome Iginla FW
17 Milan Lucic FW
18 Reilly Smith FW
20 Daniel Paille FW
21 Loui Eriksson FW
22 Shawn Thornton FW
23 Chris Kelly FW
27 Dougie Hamilton D
30 Chad Johnson G
33 Zdeno Chara D
34 Carl Soderberg FW
37 Patrice Bergeron FW
38 Jordan Caron FW
40 Tuuka Rask G
43 Matt Bartkowski D
44 Denis Seidenberg D
46 David Krejci FW
47 Torey Krug D
54 Adam McQuaid D
55 Johnny Boychuk D
63 Brad Marchand FW

Tampa Bay (23)

# Name Position
2 Eric Brewer D
3 Keith Aulie D
6 Sami Salo D
7 Radko Gudas D
8 Mark Barberio D
9 Tyler Johnson FW
11 Tom Pyatt FW
12 Ryan Malone FW
16 Teddy Purcell FW
17 Alex Killorn FW
18 Ondrej Palat FW
19 B.J. Crombeen FW
25 Matt Carle D
26 Martin St. Louis FW
30 Ben Bishop G
39 Martin St. Louis FW
44 Nate Thompson FW
51 Valtteri Filppula FW
62 Andrej Sustr D
71 Richard Panik FW
76 P.C. Labrie FW
77 Victor Hedman D
91 Steven Stamkos FW

2013-2014 Head-to-Head

Schedule/Results

Day Date Location Time/Result
Thursday 10/3/2013 Boston 7:00 p.m.
Saturday 10/19/2013 Tampa 7:00 p.m.
Monday 11/11/2013 Boston 1:00 p.m.
Saturday 3/8/2013 Tampa 7:00 p.m.

Team Stats

Player Scoring

BOSTON

TAMPA BAY

Special Teams

Power Plays Penalty Kills
BOS 0-0 (0.0%) 0-0 (0.0%)
TB 0-0 (0.0%) 0-0 (0.0%)

2012-2013 Head-to-Head

Schedule/Results

Date Location Result
2/21/2013 Tampa 4-2 Loss
3/2/2013 Boston 3-2 Loss
4/25/2013 Boston 2-0 Loss

Team Stats

Corsi For % Fenwick For % Goals For % PDO
BOS 54.8 54.3 60.0 101.9
TB 45.2 45.0 40.5 98.3

Player Scoring

BOSTON

Name GP G A PTS PPG SHG GWG S S%
Bergeron 3 1 2 3 0 0 0 8 12.5%
Hamilton 3 0 3 3 0 0 0 3 0.0%
Marchand 3 2 1 3 1 0 2 6 33.3%
Horton 2 2 0 2 0 0 0 7 28.6%
Paille 3 1 1 2 0 0 0 3 33.3%
Seguin 3 1 1 2 1 0 0 11 9.1%
Campbell 3 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0.0%
Chara 3 0 1 1 0 0 0 6 0.0%
Krejci 3 0 1 1 0 0 0 4 0.0%
McQuaid 3 0 1 1 0 0 0 3 0.0%
Peverley 3 1 0 1 0 0 0 4 0.0%
Seidenberg 3 1 0 1 0 0 1 5 20.0%
Thornton 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 0.0%

TAMPA BAY

Name GP G A PTS PPG SHG GWG S S%
Purcell 3 0 4 4 0 0 0 6 0.0%
Stamkos 3 2 1 3 1 0 0 7 28.6%
Bergeron 2 0 2 2 0 0 0 5 0.0%
Conacher 2 1 0 1 0 0 0 4 25.0%
Killorn 3 1 0 1 1 0 0 12 8.3%

Special Teams

Power Plays Penalty Kills
BOS 2-6 (33.3%) 12-14 (85.7%)
TB 2-14 (14.3%) 4-6 (66.7%)

Credit to Extra Skater for the Team On-Ice Data.

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