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Lightning-Bruins: Can the Lightning break through in Boston?

NHL linesman Brad Kovachik #71 breaks up a fight between Zdeno Chara #33 of the Boston Bruins and Steve Downie #9 of the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on May 17, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NHL linesman Brad Kovachik #71 breaks up a fight between Zdeno Chara #33 of the Boston Bruins and Steve Downie #9 of the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on May 17, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Published May 1, 2018
Updated May 2, 2018

TAMPA — The Lightning will try to do during the next two games in Boston what the Bruins did during the first two games at Amalie Arena: steal at least one win.

Problem is, the Lightning has to do it in a building that has not been very hospitable over the course of the franchise's history.

The Lightning has won in Boston six times in 26 seasons. That's 6-31-5 — including four overtime/shootout losses.

Since the 2012-13 lockout season, the Lightning is 3-5-1. It also lost three of the four games played at TD Garden in the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals and lost both games played there this season.

"I've been in that situation before, it's a hostile environment," defenseman Victor Hedman said Tuesday before leaving for Boston, where Game 3 will be played at 7 p.m. Wednesday. "But these are fun games. This is what you want to play for and want to go through. We are playing a tough team. It's a tough building to play in, but so is ours. So we are ready to play our game, play good road games and hopefully (get) two wins."

‘Refs, you (stink)’ …

NBC Sports Network analyst and Boston native Jeremy Roenick blasted referees Kelly Sutherland and Eric Furlatt for a trio of non-calls that favored the Lightning during Game 2. Chief among them was D Anton Stralman's slash to the hand of C Brad Marchand in the third period that Roenick and Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy both felt should have resulted in a penalty shot.

Roenick also mentioned a cross check by D Dan Girardi that sent RW David Pastrnak into the boards that went uncalled and a four-minute double minor high stick on Pastrnak after Pastrnak lifted Hedman's stick, causing Hedman to hit himself below his left eye with his own stick.

Hedman needed stitches to close the cut.

"(The Bruins) have a chance with the most dangerous player on the ice to score a goal and tie it, and the slash is right on the hands to the most dangerous player on the ice in Marchand. That's not a slash? That's the definition of the new slashing rule," Roenick said on the NBCSN postgame show. "Then you have a cross-check by Girardi? How can none of these be called in the most crucial part of a hockey game in the playoffs? It's unacceptable. It's got to be better, and it's too inconsistent."

Said Cassidy: "I just think it's unacceptable to miss that call. It's right on the hands, so that should be automatic. It's one thing if it's a judgment call on the stick, but that one was on the hands."

Lightning coach Jon Cooper had this to say Tuesday when asked about the officiating: "There are calls, there are missed calls, and if you going to dissect the refs, especially at playoff time, there would be a laundry list of things that I would sit here and say were missed and should have been called and (Cassidy) would say the same thing. It's a constant in the series.

"You have to feel for the guys in stripes because that's a tough job. There are basically four people in the arena that every arena they go to, everybody is against them and it's those four guys. It's a tough job, they are doing their best, calls are going to be missed both ways. You just have to understand that it's going to happen, suck it up and move it on."

Anyone seen the top-line?

The Lightning's top-line of C Steven Stamkos, RW Nikita Kucherov and LW J.T. Miller have yet to reach the score sheet during the first two games of this series.

Kucherov had 10 points (five goals, five assists) in the first round. Stamkos had a goal and five assists. Miller had a goal and three assists.

But the trio has produced just 12 shots on net in the first two games.

Aside from the three, who would like to contribute more goals, no one on the Lightning appears worried.

"We are worried about the team game plan," LW Chris Kunitz said. "You see our top guys out there with two minutes to go, getting pucks in deep, staying above guys, and those are the things that help the team win.

"We know we are going to be able to score goals at key moments and different guys will step up in different games. But we just need to stay that team game for our whole team to execute, not just one line go off and try to win a game by themselves."

Dress code violation

Jack Edwards, who calls the Bruins games for NESN, took to Twitter to criticize the Lightning's policy of not allowing fans wearing jerseys or branded clothes of the visiting team to enter the Lexus Lounge and Chase Club.

The Lightning is catering to the wishes of the season-ticket holders.

Edwards tweeted: "Tampa: you have become a GREAT hockey town. Embrace the passion of invading fans. It makes it all the richer. This public service message from the cradle of liberty and free speech: Boston, Massachusetts."

The policy began in the 2015 playoffs, because, "We want to keep Amalie Arena blue for the playoffs," Lightning VP of communications Bill Wickett told the Washington Post.

Contact Roger Mooney at rmooney@tampabay.com. Follow @rogermooney50