Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. ET. The tilt will be live streamed for fans on the Islanders’ website, NewYorkIslanders.com.
Following a pregame skate at Ristuccia Arena on Friday morning, half of the Bruins’ training camp roster hopped on a bus to travel to Bridgeport.
Veterans like Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Tuukka Rask got the trip off.
With the entire group not traveling, Boston recalled forwards Justin Florek, Seth Griffith, Alex Khokhlachev and Ryan Spooner, and defensemen Chris Breen and Zach Trotman, from the Providence Bruins for the game.
With the days winding down until the regular season opens on October 8, the game provides one of the final tune-ups.
After joining camp on Monday, Torey Krug and Reilly Smith have adjusted to being back with the team and the speed of practices. The game in Bridgeport will help them get back into game shape.
“It’s been a lot of fun being out there. I feel like as the week has gone on I’ve gotten better, the transition has been pretty smooth,” said Krug. “It’s just getting that chemistry back with the guys, whether it’s D to D passing or the forwards on the power play. I’m looking forward to getting in game action.”
On Thursday, Head Coach Claude Julien said Krug and Smith have looked “pleasantly good,” given the three weeks of missed skates with teammates from training camp and informal practices.
“I worked hard this summer. The last few days of practice I’ve felt normal. Now it’s just getting that first taste of game action,” said Krug. “I have two games here in the next two days and I think I’ll be ready to go.”
The blueliner didn’t feel that he had too much catching up to do, but he’s itching to get into Friday’s game.
“The part that I’m looking forward to is just competing and relying on my instincts,” said Krug. “You go a whole summer, you work on skills, you work on conditioning but the instincts and the competitive nature is what I’m looking forward to getting back into my game.”
Pastrnak Cleared to Play
While Krug and Smith get back into game action, David Pastrnak will be suiting up in his first ever NHL preseason game.
After tweaking his shoulder at the outset of camp, Pastrnak was cleared for Friday's game. He has a small window to show he belongs in the Spoked-B, but he’s up to the challenge and embracing the opportunity.
If he makes a strong enough of an impression, he could force the Bruins’ brass to keep him with the big club past October 7.
“Nothing's been ruled out at this point, and I'm being very honest here. We haven't made a decision either way,” said Julien. “Like I said, we see the potential but yet, you know, we also have to be realistic. He is an 18-year-old, we've got to see how he performs and how he reacts and everything else, so we haven't ruled out anything.”
“He's got as much of a chance of sticking here as anybody else. I guess, watching him and trying to make an educated decision after it's all said and done is what we'll have to do.”
Icing the Best Possible Roster
Friday night’s lineup will feature Pastrnak, recent camp roster cuts and plenty of players still pushing for roster spots, but neither Simon Gagne nor Matt Fraser are traveling to play against the Islanders.
Fraser has had a strong camp, and has consistently been skating in the open third line right wing spot.
“I’m certainly not going to say he's in, because he's not. I think he's had a great camp, but there's still some extra bodies around,” Julien was cautious to say. “And again, when it's time to make your final roster, you've got to look at what your roster looks like and what you need and those kind of things.”
“Because, let's be honest, we're not rating [Bobby] Robins on his skill level, I think we're rating him on different things. He's good enough to play and don't read through what I'm saying, but that's not how we rate a guy like him. We're rating him by his energy and what he can bring and what he can do for our team, and you know, sometimes somebody with more talent may not make it, but he will, so is it bad evaluation?”
“We evaluate players on what makes us the best team possible, and sometimes it's not the best players that make the best team; it's the best combination of players. So that's how we have to look at things sometimes.”
Campbell, Camara Skate Before Practice
Before practice, Gregory Campbell was skating with Strength and Conditioning Coach John Whitesides. It marked his second day on the ice after being sidelined by a mid-core injury for all of camp. Julien has called him "doubtful" for the season opener.
Anthony Camara (illness) also joined Campbell on the ice with Whitesides, and stayed on for the Bruins’ practice. He wore a red no-contact jersey.
While David Krejci won’t be traveling and suiting up on Friday night, he had a sharp morning skate, sniping in a goal that drew out cheers and a loud stick tap on the glass from Brad Marchand. Krejci skated over to the boards, and nonchalantly fist pumped the air.
Listed below is the expected traveling roster for Friday night, along with Friday’s practice lineup.
Expected Traveling Roster For 10/3 vs. Islanders
Forwards: Jordan Caron, Craig Cunningham, Justin Florek, Seth Griffith, Chris Kelly, Alexander Khokhlachev, Milan Lucic, Dan Paille, David Pastrnak, Reilly Smith, Carl Soderberg, Ryan Spooner
Defensemen: Matt Bartkowski, Chris Breen, Torey Krug, Kevan Miller, Dennis Seidenberg, Zach Trotman, David Warsofsky
Goaltenders: Malcolm Subban, Niklas Svedberg
Friday's Practice Lineup at Ristuccia ArenaWhite Jerseys:
Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Loui ErikssonGold:
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Reilly SmithGray:
Chris Kelly - Carl Soderberg - Matt FraserMaroon:
Daniel Paille - Craig Cunningham - David PastrnakGreen:
Simon Gagne - Bobby Robins - Jordan CaronRed, no contact:
Zdeno Chara, Dougie Hamilton, Dennis Seidenberg, Johnny Boychuk, Torey Krug, Kevan Miller, Adam McQuaid, Matt Bartkowski, David WarsofskyGoaltenders:
Tuukka Rask, Niklas Svedberg, Malcolm Subban