After beating the New York Islanders in Boston in the front end of a home-and-home series, the Bruins embark on a tough road stretch over the next 2 1/2 weeks.
Boston looks to carry some momentum from its latest win to Nassau Coliseum, where it has not won in nearly six years, when it opens a season-high six-game road trip against the Islanders on Saturday.
The Bruins (11-7-2) are around the middle of the Eastern Conference standings with 24 points, and the next few weeks could have a major impact on the rest of their season. Boston plays nine of its next 10 games on the road before returning to TD Banknorth Garden on Dec. 13 to open a five-game homestand.
"We have to get on a roll," Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas said. "To be on the road just makes it more difficult. Nine out of our next 10 on the road - that's a tough stretch for any team."
To make things more difficult, Boston begins its road stretch in an arena where it's had minimal success recently. The Bruins have lost four straight at Nassau Coliseum and are 0-4-1 with four ties there since a 4-2 win on Dec. 22, 2001.
In its last road game on Tuesday, Boston beat Toronto 4-2 to snap a four-game road losing streak, during which it was outscored 18-8.
In New York's last home game on Wednesday, it lost 4-1 to Montreal to end a four-game home winning streak.
On Friday afternoon, the Bruins beat the Islanders 2-1 to win for the fourth time in five games overall.
Boston improved to 2-5-2 against New York since 2005-06, but has not beaten the Islanders twice in a row in a single season since winning three straight from Dec. 27, 2000-April 7, 2001.
Thomas had 25 saves on Friday to bounce back from allowing all of Montreal's goals in last Saturday's 7-4 loss to the Canadiens. Thomas is 8-5-2 with a 1.98 goals-against average, but has posted a 3.95 GAA in losing his last three road games. He stopped 34 shots in his only career game at Nassau Coliseum, a 4-1 loss on Feb. 15.
Backup goalie Tuukka Rask made his first career start in Tuesday's win over the Maple Leafs, stopping 30 shots.
Bruins right wing Glen Murray scored his fourth goal of the season on Friday, and has three goals and three assists during a season-high four-game point streak. He also has three goals in his last four games against New York.
The Islanders (11-8-0) have been sputtering on offense lately, scoring one goal in three of their last four games, and two goals or fewer in seven straight.
They failed to score on all three of their power-play opportunities on Friday, and are just 1-of-23 with the man advantage in their last six games.
"Right now, we're stationary and it looks like we have no confidence in our power play," New York coach Ted Nolan said.
Rick DiPietro made 23 saves on Friday, but with the lack of goal support, fell to 2-4-0 with a 2.18 GAA since Nov. 12. DiPietro has started all 10 of the Islanders' home games this season, going 6-3-0 with a 2.53 GAA. He is 2-0-0 with two ties, one shutout and a 1.20 GAA all-time against the Bruins at Nassau Coliseum.