Predictions and more for tonight's Game 7

May, 27, 2011
5/27/11
10:52
AM ET


Here are predictions for tonight's Game 7 from the experts at ESPN Boston, ESPN.com and ESPN:

* ESPNBoston.com's Joe McDonald: Bruins 4, Lightning 2. The Bruins will advance to their first cup final in more than 20 years.

* ESPNBoston.com's Jackie MacMullan: Bruins 4, Lightning 3. This team has suffered enough.

* ESPN.com’s Scott Burnside: Lightning 4, Bruins 2. The Lightning win the special-teams battle once again and quash the Bruins' dreams of returning to the Stanley Cup final for the first time since 1990.

* ESPNBoston.com's James Murphy: Bruins 3, Lightning 2. The Bruins have proven to be a resilient bunch and once again they will prove that tonight in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals. Boston will play its physical game, get a huge performance from Tim Thomas and feed off the energy of a rocking TD Garden to advance to its first Stanley Cup finals since 1990.

* ESPN NHL analyst Barry Melrose: Bruins over Lightning. This team will kill penalties better in Game 7, Timmy Thomas will have a bounce-back game in Game 7. And the anemic, terrible, brutal Boston power play will find a way to not be terrible, brutal and anemic in Game 7 and maybe kick in a goal. Watch Melrose's full prediction HERE.

* ESPNBoston.com's Brendan Hall: Bruins 3, Lightning 0. More than the Vezina win(s), more than "The Save," more than the rags-to-riches journey straight out of a Horatio Alger book, Tim Thomas' career will be defined by this Game 7. No more flailing, no more softies, this has to be a flawless game in the pipes for the Tank.

Also, check out some of our preview content for tonight's game:

-- Jackie MacMullan: Bruins fans have had much to celebrate already this season. But one more win in Game 7 will keep the good times rolling into the finals.

-- Joe McDonald: As much as it's a team game, the Bruins need Tim Thomas to be at his best in Game 7.

-- Scott Burnside: Like all the great ones, Martin St. Louis shoulders the weight of leadership because it is in his DNA.

-- James Murphy: If the Bruins want to advance, they need more from the power play in Game 7.

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