For a last minute pregame piece, I've teamed-up with Tampa Bay Lightning Examiner Althea Pashman. With the series tie up at 1-1, here are some hot topics surrounding this important Game 3 at St. Pete Times Forum.
Mark Marino: How do you think Roloson will bounce back from his sub-par and uncharacteristicsix goals-against game -- and being pulled after 40 minutes -- tonight in Game 3 at home?
Althea Pashman: Roloson will have no problem bouncing back - he's done it before. Four times this season, he had given up five or more goals and every time he won his next game. Following a game against the Hurricanes, in which he gave up five goals, he then went on to win five straight. Roli has been resilient all season, so there is no reason for him not to bounce back.
MM: With Patrice Bergeron -- second-line -- back in the lineup tonight, and with the resurgance of the B's offense -- particularly Tyler Seguin and the 3rd line -- how will Boucher offset the scoring lines of Boston and manage his shut-down lines against tonight?
AP: The biggest adjustment for the Bolts will be getting back to their 'structure/system' that was missing for most of Game 2. The major issue was not winning face-offs and of course, if Bergeron returns, that makes the Bruins better - so, winning the face-offs and getting the offensive jump is one. Secondly, is that the Bolts must make the right move at the right time - not jump before hand, causing the odd-man rushes and giving the Bruins the scoring opportunities. Finally, to stay out of the penalty box. Even though the PK is still tops, the Bolts were lucky that the Bruins didn't score more.
AP: According to ESPN.com, two Boston sources (unnamed) have reported that Patrice Bergeron will play tonight. If so, how much or how little will Claude Julien play him and will he be used in key situations (power-play etc.)?
MM: It looks like Bergeron is a go for tonight. He's been skating for the last five days or so, and from Julien, seems to be skating well during those practices -- not winded at all. So I think we'll see Bergeron back centering Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi tonight; perhaps a bit under his 19-minute average.
He's been their best penalty-killer all season long, so he's a shoo-in for PK time. And as for the power play? It would be hard to sit him there as well, despite the Bruins 'successful' 2-for-5 stint in Game 2 without him. He practiced with Tyler Seguin on the PP during some of those practices. So those two, if on the same unit, could be very dangerous.
AP: Tyler Seguin has made the most of his opportunity and Julien has said he'll remain in the lineup. With that, what can we expect tonight and specifically how will Julien use him?
MM: As Bruins' fans, we'd all love to see Seguin play even more minutes that his 13-and-change that he played in Game 2. He'll most certainly see some man-advantage time, as he made a big assist on Michael Ryder's PP goal on Tuesday night.
The one thing about Seguin, is he's healthy and fresh. We tend to forget that he hasn't been getting the daily bumps-and-bruises, aches and pains, from playing NHL hockey for about a month; he's playing against those guys that have, including the 13-plus post season games. And when the team has a young talent that is playing at a level that Seguin is right now, Julien has to ride that for as long as the kid can go. His six points (3 goals) in two games (23:09 total ice time) certainly earned the coach's trust in rolling out more minutes, especially on the power play, for No. 19.