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  • Game Day Preview: Bruins at Islanders


    Game Day Preview: Bruins at Islanders

    Chris Chirichiello January 29, 2015

    The Boston Bruins entered the All-Star break as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference. If the playoffs started today, they would face the team they are playing at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum tonight – the New York Islanders.

    Prior to their week off, the Black and Gold lost 3-2 in a shootout to the Colorado Avalanche away from TD Garden. It was a tough loss for Claude Julien and the B’s as they held a 2-1 lead with under two minutes to play in regulation.

    Related: Bruins run out of gas in Colorado

    The B’s will look to continue their string of success they had before the break where they sported a 6-1-3 record over their last 10 games and a 3-1-1 over their last five games. Their road record has crept over the .500 mark at 10-9-3. The Islanders, meanwhile, are an impressive 17-4-0 at home in 2014-2015.

    The two teams have met once this season when Johnny Boychuk made his triumphant return to TD Garden on October 23rd in a 3-2 victory. Zdeno Chara exited the game with an injury that eventually sidelined him for four-to-six weeks.

    (Looking to catch the B’s on the road tonight in their final regular season appearance at the Nassau Coliseum? Check out TicketMonster for last minute Bruins-Islanders tickets)

    Here is your complete Bruins-Islanders preview:

    Gametime: 7:00 PM
    Records: Bruins 25-16-7 (57 points)/Islanders 32-14-1 (65 points)
    TV/Radio: NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub
    Location: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum

    Bruins’ projected lines:

    Milan Lucic-David Krejci-David Pastrnak
    Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Reilly Smith
    Chris Kelly-Carl Soderberg-Loui Eriksson
    Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Craig Cunningham

    Zdeno Chara-Dougie Hamilton
    Dennis Seidenberg-Adam McQuaid
    Torey Krug-Kevan Miller

    Tuukka Rask
    Niklas Svedberg

    Islanders’ projected lines:

    Mikhail Grabovski-John Tavares-Josh Bailey
    Anders Lee-Frans Nielsen-Ryan Strome
    Michael Grabner-Brock Nelson-Nikolay Kulemin
    Matt Martin-Casey Cizikas-Cal Clutterbuck

    Calvin de Haan-Travis Hamonic
    Nick Leddy-Johnny Boychuk
    Thomas Hickey-Brian Strait

    Jaroslav Halak
    Chad Johnson

    Who to watch for Bruins: Patrice Bergeron

    Bergeron was the lone member of the Bruins who was selected to this year’s All-star team. That includes the traveling, the monotonous media interviews, parties, practices and then the game. Sometimes such things can have an effect on a player especially the first game back. We will have to see.

    No. 37 was mediocre the last five games before the break scoring just one goal, sporting a minus-1 rating while he fired 16 shots on net.

    His face-off percentages were right on cue though as he won 54 percent, 64 percent, 60 percent, 56 percent and 58 percent respectively in his last five games.

    The point leader for the Black and Gold should be just fine and ready to lead the B’s for the second half of the season.

    Who to watch for Islanders: John Tavares

    If you watched the All-Star game on Sunday night, you heard the name John Tavares a lot. The 24 year-old scored four goals while adding an assist.

    This is no different than the regular season as Tavares has 22 goals (7th in the NHL) while his 46 points rank him 11th. He has 10 power-play goals on the season and five game-winning goals, which ranks him fourth and third overall.

    In his last five games, Tavares has three goals and four assists while rifling off 25 shots. All three goals came on the power-play.

    Tavares is a one-man machine that the B’s will have their hands full with on Thursday night.

    Game day edge: Start the second half strong

    When coming out of a break, it is always good to start off on the right foot. That is exactly what the B’s need to do in Long Island Thursday night. They can’t dwell on the lead they blew in Colorado because a lot of good things came out of that game.

    It may be tough because the Islanders are a very good home team, but if the Black and Gold stick to their game plan and play that physical game, Julien’s team may have the edge.

    The Bruins need to kill their penalties (as they’ve done throughout January) and capitalize on their power-plays and it starts tonight in Long Island.

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