Boston’s Chris Wagner fights with Tampa Bay Lightning’s Barclay Goodrow when the teams met on March 7 in Boston. There were plenty of fights in that game, and the upcoming playoff series should also be physical. Winslow Townson/Associated Press

Did somebody mention motivation? If not, the wait won’t be long.

The Boston Bruins, who fell a win shy of the Stanley Cup last year, brought back most of that team for 2019-20 to complete what it considered unfinished business.

The Tampa Bay Lightning tied an NHL record with 62 wins in 2018-19, but were swept in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs by the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Lightning have steadily toughened up since.

And now the Bruins and Lightning, fresh off five-game victories in Round 1, kick off a best-of-seven series Sunday night in the NHL bubble in Toronto. The winner earns a trip to the Edmonton bubble for the conference finals.

The Lightning have already made one statement, getting a measure of revenge against the Blue Jackets with a first-round sweep. The Bruins have a chance to make a statement of their own with a playoff series win over the Lightning, something they failed to do in 2018.

Bruins Coach Bruce Cassidy, however, puts more stock in the two meetings between the teams late in a regular season that was shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic.’

“Two really good games,” Cassidy recalled. “We went (down) there for a (2-1 win, March 3), and then they beat us in our building (5-3 on March 7). Both (games) were physical.”

Although it’s been almost six months since those games were played, they’re significant in that they were played after the trade deadline – after each team had made moves to boost their rosters for the postseason.

The Bruins added winger Nick Ritchie for size and Ondrej Kase for second-line scoring help, while the Lightning added bulk and grit in forwards Barclay Goodrow (6-foot-2, 215 pounds), and Blake Coleman (5-11, 200) and defenseman Zach Bogosian (6-2, 200).

In their last meeting on March 7, the teams combined for 94 penalty minutes, with Chris Wagner meeting Goodrow in one fight and Bruins captain Zdeno Chara dropping his gloves against 6-3, 236-pound forward Patrick Maroon – a free-agent acquisition who helped the Blues beat the Bruins in last year’s Cup final. Ritchie and Coleman were hit with misconducts following a skirmish at the end of the second period.

“(The Lightning) have a different makeup now,” Bruins winger Brad Marchand said. “They compete a lot harder, they’re a lot more physical – and obviously, they have a ton of talent.”

The Lightning boast two finalists for major awards in goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy (Vezina Trophy) and defenseman Victor Hedman (Norris Trophy), and while they scored just three goals or fewer in four of five first-round games, they certainly have the potential to score big. The Lightning averaged an NHL-high 3.47 goals per game during the regular season behind Nikita Kucherov (33 goals, 85 points) and linemate Brayden Point (25 goals, 39 assists), who scored two game-winning goals in overtime against the Blue Jackets.

Each team is missing a major contributor, however.

Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (29 goals, 37 assists in 57 games), who had core muscle surgery just before the season was interrupted, hasn’t played this postseason because of a lower body injury.

The hole in the Bruins’ lineup is even more gaping, as No. 1 goalie Tuukka Rask left the team last weekend to be with his family, leaving Jaroslav Halak to handle the goaltending, with never-tested Dan Vladar his backup.

Halak, who hasn’t played against the Lightning in two seasons with the Bruins, faces the daunting prospect of playing on consecutive nights at least once (Tuesday and Wednesday, Games 2 and 3), and possibly for Games 6 and 7.

The Bruins, fully healthy, look forward to the challenge.

“It’s going to be a fun series,” Marchand said. “It’s going to be very tough, and it’s going to be difficult to play. But when you’re going through this, you want to play good teams – and they’re a hell of a team.”

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