Published May 02, 2016
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Bruins look to extend their longest winning streak in two months on Tuesday night as they play host to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Bruins have won three in a row for the first time since Nov. 15-21 and have pulled into the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. They have a one-point edge over the Florida Panthers following Saturday's 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.
Rookie David Pastrnak netted the first two goals of his NHL career to lead the charge. The 18-year-old was playing in his seventh career game and came into the contest with one assist.
"Means a lot you know, first NHL goals," Pastrnak told Boston's website after the win. "And it's even better when we won and we got two points."
A 2014 first-round pick, Pastrnak can play in two more games before the first year of his entry-level contract begins.
Chris Kelly had the other goal and Tuukka Rask stopped 24 shots for the Bruins, who are 4-0-3 in their last seven games and are shooting for their longest winning streak since taking a season-high five games in a row from Oct. 30-Nov. 10.
The Bruins battle the Lightning for the first time this season tonight and have won eight in a row in this series both overall and at home. Boston has outscored Tampa Bay 30-8 over its winning streak at home.
The Lightning have not won in Boston since March 25, 2010 and will likely face Rask, who is 7-2-0 versus them with a 1.99 goals against average, .928 save percentage and three shutouts.
Tampa Bay will be trying to rebound tonight after having a three-game winning streak snapped in a 7-3 setback to Philadelphia last night. Evgeni Nabokov allowed four goals on 13 shots before getting lifted 2:36 into the second period, with Ben Bishop yielding three goals on 12 shots in relief.
"For whatever reason it was a tough night. We just didn't have our legs, our structure wasn't there," Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said.
Steven Stamkos and Ryan Callahan had power-play goals and Brian Boyle also scored for the Eastern Conference-leading Lightning, who lost defenseman Victor Hedman and center Tyler Johnson to lower-body injuries in the game.
Cooper said afterwards there was a good chance neither skater would be able to play tonight.
Johnson leads the Lightning with 29 assists and 46 points, while Hedman has 20 points in 26 games this season.
Though denied a full game of rest, Bishop figures to start tonight looking for his first win over the Bruins. He is 0-2-1 in three previous encounters with a 3.79 GAA and .868 save percentage.
Boston announced on Monday that forward Simon Gagne will not return to the club this season due to personal reasons. Gagne left the team on Dec. 10 and his father passed away from liver cancer during the month.