TAMPA, Florida (AP) Tampa Bay has not played for a week, while Boston has a highly competitive seven-game playoff series.
Neither the Lightning nor the less rested Bruins expect this If you play on Saturday in the second round of the playoff series, that means nothing.
A single point separated the rivals of the Atlantic Division in the table, after the race for the top seed of the Eastern Conference in the last night of the regular season fell reason enough to believe that this best-of-seven match will be just as short.
"Obviously these were the division's top two teams, and until the last game it was a close decision who would finish first and second," Lightning defender Victor Hedman said.
"It's going to be a tough matchup, they're a great team, so are we," said the Norris Trophy finalist. "There will be little detail in the game, we have the skill and depth to score, but we have to keep the puck out of our net."
Boston won three out of four matches between the regulars in the regular season team.
The Bruins won their first round playoff series against Toronto in seven games. Tampa Bay, led by Nikita Kucherov's 1
"I think you're learning that the regular season does not mean anything," said Lightning captain Steven Stamkos. "We know how they play very competitive group, very well structured, especially the top line … We expect a very close series against a very good hockey team."
The Bruins are also ready for a tough test ,
"It's going to be a fight," said Bruins striker Brad Marchand. "They've been a top team all year round, they compete very hard, have a lot of skill and a lot of depth."
YOU PAY ALL
The lightning earned a home advantage for the series by scoring a point Ahead of Boston in the standings. In fact, everything went back to the last night of the season, when the Bruins played Florida in a makeover game for a January 4 game, postponed by a blizzard.
The Panthers won 4-2 and left Boston with 112 points on 113 for Tampa Bay.
"We will not allow a game to define us, but we understand the meaning," coach Bruce Cassidy then said. "We'll let one get away, a chance at home advantage, and we'll see if it haunts us on the street. I think it's too early to say that now.
Not the first time
The Lightning and Bruins meet only for the second time in the postseason, and the other meeting took place in the 2011 Eastern Conference Final, won by Boston in seven games
FALLING IN LINE  In the four playoff games, the Bruins won against Toronto, the trio of Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand had a combined 30 points in the three games they lost, they were completely scoreless.
They are our main line, "said defender Torey Krug after scoring three goals in four games with four assists in game 7." They are the best line NHL and when they leave it's hard to stop. "
Marchand will do anything to get under his opponent's skin, and in the first round, skating all the way down to Toronto meant Leo Komarov seemed to lick his face (in November he appeared to Komarov kissing on the cheek.)
"I thought he wanted to cuddle. I just wanted to get close to him, "Marchand said after the playoff game." He's always trying to get close to me. I do not know if he has something for me or what. He is sweet.
Several news agencies reported this week that the NHL had sent a message to Marchand to turn it off, but he said he had not received such a message. "That's wrong," he tweeted in response to a Boston news story. Globe story that picked up Sportsnet's original report.
I KINDA LIKE HIM
Lightning coach Jon Cooper was asked how he sees Marchand.
"To be honest, what I've seen of him what happened on the ice, he is a competitive you know what and I love that. I think some of the biggest comments you can give a player is that I hate this kid, but I wish he was in my team, "said Cooper.
" I was lucky enough to meet him during the All-Star match … and out of the ice to spend some time. It was really disappointing, I was hoping he would be an idiot. I was hoping I would not like him, "Cooper added," but he was unreal and it's amazing that a guy who is so nice and nice and sociable and sociable is the same guy who jumps on the ice. You have to respect that about him. And when these kids jump on the ice, he comes to play.
AP sports journalist Jimmy Golen in Boston has contributed to this report.
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