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  • Game Day Preview: Bruins at Islanders

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    Game Day Preview: Bruins at Islanders

    Tim Rosenthal March 25, 2017
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    There still may be seven games left after tonight, but the way this week has gone it might as well be looked at as a do or die situation for the Boston Bruins.

    Now losers of four straight, the Black and Gold need to find their mojo again that they once had at the start of the Bruce Cassidy era – and quickly. Their opponent tonight, the Islanders, have beaten the Black and Gold in both of their previous meetings this season at TD Garden.

    In another critical game, the Bruins will be without Tuukka Rask, who is day to day with a lower-body injury. Anton Khudobin will make the start between the pipes for the first time since the B’s last victory in Calgary over a week ago, while Zane McIntyre was recalled from Providence to join the team in Brooklyn.

    Fresh off their win over the Penguins one night ago, the Islanders now hold the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference thanks to their game in hand on the Bruins.

    Gametime: 7:00 pm
    TV/Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub
    Records: Bruins 38-30-6 (82 points), Islanders 35-27-12 (82 points)
    Location Barclays Center

    Bruins projected lines

    Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Backes
    Drew Stafford-David Krejci-David Pastrnak
    Frank Vatrano-Ryan Spooner-Jimmy Hayes
    Riley Nash-Dominic Moore-Noel Acciari

    Zdeno Chara-Brandon Carlo
    Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid
    Kevan Miller-Colin Miller

    Anton Khudobin
    Zane McIntyre

    Islanders projected lines

    Andrew Ladd-John Tavares-Josh Bailey
    Anders Lee-Anthony Beauvillier-Josh Ho-Sang
    Brock Nelson-Alan Quine-Jason Chimaera
    Nikolay Kulemin-Casey Cizikas-Cal Clutterbuck

    Nick Leddy-Adam Pelech
    Calvin de Hann-Travis Hamonic
    Thomas Hickey-Scott Mayfield

    Thomas Greiss
    Jaroslav Halak

    Tonight’s storylines

    – The dilemma with Rask continues. Yes, he hasn’t been as good of late, but without him in October, November and December during the team’s goal-scoring troubles, the Bruins may not even be in the discussion of a playoff spot. Luckily for Rask and company, Khudobin has picked up his game of late having won each of his last four starts. A fifth win for Khudobin could give Cassidy some flexibility heading into next week while Rask heals from his lower-body injury.

    – Including their recent 0-4 stretch, the Bruins are 8-15-5 in the last three years after the ides of March. Unlike the last two years with the Senators and Flyers, the other teams on the playoff bubble aside from the recently resurgent Carolina Hurricanes haven’t gone on a late season run. With the last two late regular season collapses fresh in fans minds, the Bruins need to show that desperation to avoid another disappointing finish. Otherwise, some drastic – and needed – changes will be talked about during another off-season of uncertainty on Causeway Street.

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