NEW YORK ISLANDERS (42-23-7) VS BOSTON BRUINS (43-20-9)
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MORNING SKATE UPDATES | GAME NOTES
SEASON SERIES: NYI TRAIL 0-1-1
With a 2-1 shootout win on Nov. 29 and a 3-1 victory on Feb. 5 the Bruins lead the season series (2-0-0) over the Islanders. Anders Lee and Brad Marchand scored in regulation on Nov. 29, while former Bruin Ryan Donato (now with Minnesota) scored the winner in the fourth round of the shootout. Robin Lehner made 34 saves in the shootout loss.
On Feb. 5, the Bruins snapped the Islanders eight-game point streak (6-0-2) behind a two-goal night from Patrice Bergeron at TD Garden. Jordan Eberle potted the Islanders lone tally in the second period on the power play. Lehner made 24 saves in the loss.
The Isles are 0-5-1 in their last six games and haven't beaten Boston at home since 2013, going 0-7-0. They are 1-10-0 in the last 11 home games.
Video: Greiss on Islanders' success, first star of the week
- With a 3-2 overtime win over Minnesota on Sunday, the Isles (91 points) jumped into a tie with the Washington Capitals (91 points) for first place of the Metropolitan Division. Per Eric Hornick, this is the latest the Isles have been a division leader in a season since 1988.
- Brock Nelson (1G, 1A) netted the game-winner in his home state off of a feed from Mathew Barzal (2A) on Sunday. In the process, Nelson established a new career-high with 47 points (22G, 25A). The Islanders top line of Anders Lee, Barzal and Jordan Eberle got the Isles on the board in the first period, as Barzal fed Eberle for his 14th goal of the season and his first goal since Feb. 9.
- The Islanders hadn't allowed a power play goal in eight games (11 kills) but relinquished two goals on the man advantage to Minnesota after serving six penalties throughout the game. On the flip side, the Isles scored their first power play goal in 12 games, snapping an 0-for-25 skid, off a deflection from Lee.
- Lee has scored a goal in each of the Islanders last four games. The captain scored his team-leading 27th goal of the season and has nine goals in the last 15 games, including goals in four straight games.
- Thomas Greiss was named the NHL's First Star of the Week (through March 17) on Monday morning. The Islanders goaltender posted a 3-1-0 record with a .959SV%, a 1.25 GAA and a shutout throughout those four games. During that stretch, the German netminder led the NHL in wins (3), shots faced (121) and saves (116).
- Robin Lehner backed up Greiss for the third straight game since returning from an upper-body injury.
- Casey Cizikas missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury that he sustained in warmups of Saturday's game against Detroit.
- Johnny Boychuk took warmups against Minnesota but sat out for his fourth consecutive game with an upper-body injury.
- The Islanders lead the NHL in goals against per game with an average of 2.33 per game.
- Adam Pelech and Tom Kuhnhackl are set to appear in their 200th career NHL games on Tuesday.
- The Bruins snapped a three-game losing skid with a 2-1 overtime victory over Columbus on Saturday. Boston scoring leader Brad Marchand (31G, 56A) scored the game-winner 3:30 into the extra period. Marchand also assisted on a first period tally from linemate Patrice Bergeron (1G, 1A). The win marked the Bruins 11th straight victory at TD Garden. Jaroslav Halak made 24 saves in the win.
- Halak is returning to Long Island for the first time since leaving the Islanders in free agency. Halak spent four seasons with the team, going 88-65-19 in 177 appearances. The 33-year-old is 19-10-4 with a 2.29 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage in 36 games in his first season in Boston.
- Halak won't get the start in his return, as Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed that Tuukka Rask will start against the Islanders. Rask has a goals against average of 2.45 and a save percentage of .916 in his 40 games played this season.
- The Bruins continue to battle the injury bug with David Pastrnak, Torey Krug, Kevan Miller, Matt Grzelcyk and Marcus Johansson battling injuries.
- Pastrnak has missed the Bruins last 16 games after undergoing thumb surgery, but the right-winger returned to practice on Monday for the first time since sustaining the injury. Bruins Coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed that Pastrnak will be travelling and will be a game-time decision against the Islanders. Despite missing 16 games, Pastrnak is still tied with Marchand for first on the Bruins with 31 goals. Pastrnak has 66 points (31G, 35A) in 56 games played this season.
- Krug suffered a concussion against Columbus on March 12 and the defenseman continues to undergo concussion protocol. Krug, Miller (upper-body) Grzelcyk (arm) and Johansson (lung-contusion) all skated separately before the team practice on Monday morning.
- Jake DeBrusk returned to the lineup after missing five-consecutive games (since March 5) with a lower-body injury. The 22-year-old has 34 points (22G, 12A) this season.
- With the win over Columbus, the Bruins (95 points) boosted their cushion over Toronto (91 points) for second place in the Atlantic Division. Second is as high as they can finish, as Boston currently trails Tampa Bay (116 points) by 21 points with 10 games remaining.
- The Bruins (26.3%) power play is ranked third in the league behind Tampa (28.5%) and Florida (26.8%).