New York Islanders (35-26-12) vs Boston Bruins (38-30-6)
7 p.m., Barclays Center - Buy Tickets
Radio: AM970 - The Answer, 88.7FM - WRHU, 103.9FM - LI News
The New York Islanders and Boston Bruins face off with the second wild card spot on the line on Saturday.
The Islanders and Bruins are tied with 82 points, with the Islanders holding a game in hand on the Bruins. It's the last head-to-head matchup between the Isles and Bruins this season.
"The games are all big now, but when you play a team that's part of the group that's battling for positioning, they are amplified a little bit more," John Tavares said on Friday in Pittsburgh. "But for us, we have to feed off our home crowd and it'll be fun."
The Islanders are coming off a 4-3 shootout win over the Penguins on Friday night, a win that allowed them to keep control of their playoff destiny. So while the Islanders and Bruins are tied with 82 points and the Lightning lurk one point back, the Isles just have to take care of their own business to make the playoffs, starting tonight.
Nikolay Kulemin Leaves Penguins Game:
Nikolay Kulemin left Friday's game in Pittsburgh and did not return. Stay tuned for an update about his status. Kulemin's injury comes one game after the Islanders lost Ryan Strome for 3-6 weeks with an upper-body injury. Alan Quine replaced Strome on Friday, so the Islanders other extra forwards are Shane Prince and Stephen Gionta, should Kulemin be out Saturday.
UPDATE: Tuukka Rask is out Saturday with a lower-body injury. Anton Khudobin will start in goal.
The Boston Bruins have lost four straight heading into Saturday's action, most recently falling to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.
The four-game slide comes after the Bruins went on a 6-1-0 run to start March, but safe to say, it's a tough time for a losing streak and the Islanders should expect a desperate team on Saturday.
Brad Marchand enters the game with a career-high 80 points (37G, 43A) in 74 games. Marchand is fourth in league scoring and can set a new career-high with his next goal. The Bruins leading scorer has six points (2G, 4A) in his last five games.
Video: Greiss leads Islanders in 4-0 shutout of Bruins
Isles vs. Bruins:
The Islanders are 2-0 against the Bruins this season, winning the first two meetings in Boston. Thomas Greiss is the expected starter for Islanders and he has stopped 80 of 82 Bruin shots this season, including the Isles' first-ever shutout in Boston. According to The Skinny, Greiss will carry a 72:48 shutout streak vs. Boston into the contest.
More from the Skinny:
Boston won both games in Brooklyn last season; the Isles are 2-9-0 in their last 11 home games against the Bruins, including 0-4-0 in the last four.
The Isles swept all four games from Boston in the 2005-2006 season.