The Boston Bruins played the Tampa Bay Lightning in what could potentially be a first-round playoff matchup. Both teams were not at their best, with the Lightning ultimately coming out on top with a 3-1 win. Danton Heinen scored the Bruins’ only goal, thanks to a play started by David Pastrnak’s forecheck. However, the Bruins struggled offensively overall, going 0 for 2 on the power play and failing to generate much offense from their top wings Pastrnak and Brad Marchand.

Goalie Linus Ullmark continued to make his case for starting in the postseason, posting a .939 save percentage since the trade deadline. On the other hand, Jeremy Swayman has struggled with an .850 save percentage in the same timeframe. Ullmark’s solid performance against the Lightning further bolstered his case for the starting role. The Bruins have a few remaining regular-season games to decide on their playoff lineup, with Ullmark scheduled for more starts to solidify his position.

Forward James van Riemsdyk is not trending in the right direction and did not make the most of his opportunity in the game. On defense, coach Jim Montgomery made adjustments to the pairings, moving Andrew Peeke up to the second pair alongside Hampus Lindholm. Brandon Carlo played with Parker Wotherspoon on the third pairing. The Lindholm-Carlo duo has struggled defensively in recent games, with more goals against than goals for, prompting Montgomery to shuffle the pairings in search of more stability.

Overall, the Bruins accumulated valuable data on their lineup and player performances in the game against the Lightning, which will help them make decisions heading into the playoffs. The loss to the Lightning highlighted areas of improvement for the team, especially in terms of offensive production and defensive stability. Players like Ullmark and Peeke showcased their abilities and made strong cases for increased roles in the postseason, while others, like van Riemsdyk, will need to step up their performances to secure their spot in the lineup.

Looking ahead, the Bruins have a few more regular-season games to finalize their lineup and prepare for the playoffs, where they may potentially face the Lightning again. Both teams are likely to bring their best in postseason matchups, making it crucial for the Bruins to address their weaknesses and build on their strengths. With key players like Pastrnak and Ullmark performing well, the Bruins have a solid foundation to work from as they aim to make a deep playoff run.

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