This time around, the Bruins are getting their playoff rematch with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Philadelphia’s 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Friday night in Toronto eliminated the Habs and locked in an Eastern Conference semifinal between its two best teams prior to the coronavirus shutdown. Game 1 is scheduled for 8 p.m. Sunday.
A year ago, Tampa Bay tied the NHL record with 62 regular-season wins, and loomed as a stiff second-round playoff test. Instead, Columbus swept the Lightning in the first round, helping Boston on its road to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. This year, Tampa prevailed in a five-overtime Game 1 and won four one-goal games to take out the Blue Jackets in five. Brayden Point had at least one point in four of the games, giving him 10 (five goals, five assists) in eight this postseason.
The series win was Tampa’s first since beating the Bruins in five games during the second round of the 2018 playoffs.
Tampa won four of the five head-to-head meetings between the teams this season, including 3-2 during the seeding round robin on Aug. 5. Tyler Johnson scored the winner in that game with 1:27 to go in regulation. Four of the five games were decided by one goal, including Boston’s win at Tampa on March 3.
David Krejci, the Bruins leading scorer across the round robin and Carolina series with 3-6—9 totals, was held without a point in three games against the Lightning this season. Boston’s top line of David Pastrnak (3-2—5), Patrice Bergeron (2-1—3), and Brad Marchand (1-4—5) led the way.
The Flyers, winners of the round robin before knocking out Montreal in six games, draw the New York Islanders, who upset Washington in the first round.
Game 1: Sunday, Aug. 23, 8 p.m. (NBC, 98.5 The Sports Hub)
Game 2: Tuesday, Aug. 25, 7 p.m. (NBCSN, 98.5 The Sports Hub)
Game 3: Wednesday, Aug. 26, 8 p.m. (NBCSN, 98.5 The Sports Hub)
Game 4: Friday, Aug. 28, 7:30 p.m. (USA, 98.5 The Sports Hub)
Game 5: Sunday, Aug. 30, TBD
Game 6: Monday, Sept. 1, TBD
Game 7: Tuesday, Sept. 2, TBD