To date, the Boston Bruins have only played six games and have a respectable 4-2 record heading into tonight's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, The Bruins have only played six games thus far, which is at least two less than almost all of the other teams in the Atlantic Division.
Tampa Bay is a new member of that division, and after the Bruins beat the Lightning 3-1 in the opener, are looking to get even. As strange as it may seem Boston was outshot and outplayed in a game that they eventually won. Tampa is a surprise 5-2, and if the Bruins want to keep pace in the standings, they need to pick up two points this evening.
1) Which defenseman will be the odd man out?
For the last two games it has been Adam McQuaid, but head coach Claude Julien has made it clear that with 7 capable d-men, there is going to be some level of rotation. In Thursday night's win over the Panthers, Dougie Hamilton recorded a powerplay goal, so it would be a surprise to see him on the bench.
2) Will Brad Marchand continue to play on the third line?
The Bruins pesky instigator has yet to record a point in 2013, and against the Panthers, Marchand barely got himself out of the doghouse before he was sent right back in. Marchand needs to be part of the mix for Boston, but when Riley Smith scored the game-winning goal, it was hard to argue with Claude Julien's methods.
3) Will this game be goalie Chad Johnson's first start?
The Bruins don't play again until Wednesday, so the answer is probably a no. Starter Tuukka Rask has played outstanding in all six of the Bruins' games, posting a 1.51 goals against and a .947 save percentage.
Johnson will eventually get the chance to prove he can be an effective spell for Tuukka, but with three days of before Boston plays again, and no back-to-backs on the schedule in the immediate future, Rask will continue to prove that he is deserving of being one of the highest paid goalies in the NHL.
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