Type to search

  • Game Day Preview: Islanders at Bruins

    Game Day Previews

    Game Day Preview: Islanders at Bruins

    Tim Rosenthal March 12, 2016

    Coming off a stretch where they took seven of a possible eight points against the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks, the league-leading Capitals and a sweep of the Sunshine State, the Boston Bruins looked to keep the momentum going against the Carolina Hurricanes and take over sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division.

    It wasn’t all that pretty, and the Bruins did suffer a setback in a proverbial trap game against a ‘Canes team on the outside looking in for a playoff berth. But they did get a point in the 3-2 overtime loss and still sit alone in first place in the Atlantic following the Lightning’s loss to the Flyers.

    This afternoon, Claude Julien’s squad faces an Islanders team that they’ve beaten twice this season. The injury-plagued Isles are currently third in the Metropolitan Division, thus giving Julien a reason to believe his team will be well aware of the task in hand.

    “Let’s chalk it up as a tough loss, but a good point, and let’s move on here and prepare for Saturday,” Julien said to reporters during his postgame press conference Thursday night. “So, if I was a betting man, I think our team’s going to be much better on Saturday.”

    Ironically enough, the Bruins are holding Casino Night to benefit the Bruins Foundation after today’s game. Perhaps the all-time winningest coach in team history can cash in his bet then, if he were to place a wager that is.

    Gametime: 1:00 p.m.
    TV/Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub
    Records: Bruins 38-23-8 (84 points), Islanders 37-20-8 (82 points)
    Location: TD Garden

    Bruins’ projected lines

    Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Lee Stempniak
    Loui Eriksson-David Krejci-David Pastrnak
    Matt Beleskey-Ryan Spooner-Jimmy Hayes
    Landon Ferraro-Noel Acciari-Brett Connolly

    Zdeno Chara-John-Michael Liles
    Joe Morrow-Dennis Seidenberg
    Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

    Tuukka Rask
    Jonas Gustavsson

    Islanders projected lines

    Josh Bailey-John Tavares-Kyle Okposo
    Nikolay Kulemin-Frans Neilsen-Ryan Strome
    Shane Prince-Brock Nelson-Anders Lee
    Matt Martin-Casey Cizikas-Cal Clutterbuck

    Nick Leddy-Johnny Boychuk
    Travis Hamonic-Thomas Hickey
    Brian Strait-Ryan Pulock

    Thomas Greiss
    Jean-Francois Berube

    Matchup to watch: Bruins-Islanders special teams

    Islanders at Bruins

    Loui Eriksson is coming off a game where he scored a power play goal in the 3-2 OT loss to the Hurricanes. (Photo by Joe Makarski, Bruins Daily)

    The Bruins power play once sat atop the league in PP percentage. Since January 1, they’ve taken a bit of a freefall, having gone 11 for their last 96 with the man advantage. Still, they find themselves eighth in the league with a success rate of 21.2 percent. They’ll certainly have their hands full this afternoon against the third-ranked Islanders shorthanded unit that comes into today’s matchup having killed nearly 86 percent of their penalties.

    On the flip side, we’ll also see a Bruins penalty kill unit that is ranked 10th (82.2 percent success rate) against the Isles’ 10th ranked power play (19.5 percent). The B’s have given up five power play goals in their last 25 shorthanded situations, however. Against a team that has scored three times on the power play in their last 12 attempts, they’ll need to tighten that up as well.

    One way or another, special teams could play a vital factor in determining today’s outcome.

    Storyline to watch: Which Bruins team will show up?

    Islanders at Bruins

    Will the Bruins be celebrating a home win before their trip to California? Or will their struggles at TD Garden continue? (Photo by Joe Makarski, Bruins Daily)

    The Bruins showed what they’re capable of during their toughest four-game stretch of the season. Yet, their habit of playing to the level of their competition came back to haunt them on Thursday.

    Despite the two wins against the Islanders, these two teams are pretty much even. With the Panthers facing a Flyers team playing their second game of a back to back, the Bruins need to come away with two points to stay atop the Atlantic.

    So, will the Bruins team that won three of four against their toughest competition of the season take the TD Garden ice? Or will their struggles on Causeway Street continue? We’ll find out soon.

    Facebook Comments
    Tim Rosenthal

    Tim Rosenthal serves as the Managing Editor of Bruins Daily. He started contributing videos to the site in 2010 before fully coming on board during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011. His bylines over the last decade have been featured on Boston.com, FoxSports.com, College Hockey News, Patch and Inside Hockey. You can follow Tim on Twitter @_TimRosenthal.


    You Might also Like

    Leave a Comment