BOSTON (CBS) — With a win over the Hurricanes on Wednesday night, the Boston Bruins advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
And the Tampa Bay Lightning are waiting for them.
The Lightning eliminated the Blue Jackets earlier on Wednesday, punching their ticket to the Eastern Conference semifinals.
And with the NHL opting for a reseeding format instead of its usual divisional format this year, the second-seeded Lightning will most likely be the “home team” against the fourth-seeded Bruins.
That’s not official just yet, as the other first-round series are not yet complete. But as long as the Capitals and Canadiens don’t mount comebacks from their 3-1 series deficits, the Bruins and Lightning will be squaring off in the conference semis.
The Lightning punched their own ticket to the conference semis with an overtime win over Columbus on Wednesday afternoon. When those two teams headed to overtime, the Bruins and Hurricanes must have been a bit flustered, after having had to wait through five overtimes prior to the first game of their own series being postponed. But just 5:12 into overtime, Brayden Point ended the game and the series, scoring a goal past Joonas Korpisalo and ending the series.
And with the NHL ditching its normal format in favor of reseeding for this unique tournament, it’s very likely that the Lightning will end up playing the Bruins in the next round.
If they do meet, it will be the third playoff series between Bruins and Lightning since 2011. The Bruins won a seven-game classic Eastern Conference Finals in 2011, while the Lightning eliminated the Bruins in just five games in the second round in 2018.