On Thursday, March 23, at 7pm ET, the Boston Bruins (38-29-6) host the Tampa Bay Lightning (34-29-9).

Need to know: Lightning
The Lightning have continuously been plagued with injuries throughout this whole season. Yet, they are still holding on to a potential playoff appearance. Tampa Bay is coming off of a tough home loss to Arizona on Tuesday night. They currently sit five points behind the Bruins with 77 and hold a game in hand. They are facing an uphill battle but it is still impressive feat to be this close down the stretch. Tampa was very active during the trade deadline, parting with goaltender Ben Bishop and defenseman Marc Streit. Some felt that the season was over for the Lightning and the reasonings for these moves was not clear. However, these losses have not slowed down the team. The Lightning come into tonight led by forward Nikita Kucherov, who has 73 points in 65 games, and defenseman Victor Hedman, who was 60 points in 69 games.

Need to know: Bruins
The Bruins enter tonight trying to turn around a three-game losing streak. During the past week, they have seen their place in the standings slip from third in the Atlantic, to the second wild card spot. After losing to Toronto and Ottawa in back to back nights, they know tonight is a must win. They sit one point behind the leafs who have a game in hand and the Isles are two points back of the wild card spot with a game in hand. In those back to back losses, the effort for the most part was certainly there and so were scoring chances. But, defensive breakdowns hurt them in both games.

Though the Bruins seem to be struggling to find two points, the season series between these two teams does heavily favor the Bs. This is the fourth of five games between the divisional opponents and Boston has won the first three with a combined score of 12-7. The Bs scored four goals in each of the first three games. While Brad Marchand’s point streak ended on Tuesday, he still remains third in the league with 80 points and second in goals with 37. After tonight, these two teams will meet again on April 4th, also at the Garden.

Projected Lineup:
Marchand – Bergeron – Backes
Stafford – Krejci – Pastrnak
Vatrano – Spooner – Acciari
Beleskey – Moore – Nash

Chara – Carlo
Krug – McQuaid
C. Miller – K. Miller
Morrow – Liles