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Game Preview: Islanders vs Bruins

The Islanders go for a third-straight win when they host the Bruins (7 p.m., MSG+)

by Sasha Kandrach KandrachSasha / NewYorkIslanders.com

NEW YORK ISLANDERS (27-12-3) VS BOSTON BRUINS (26-8-11)

7 PM | BARCLAYS CENTER | BUY TICKETS

WATCH: MSG+ | MSG GO

LISTEN: 88.7FM | 103.9FM | 1050AM

MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS NIGHT


After a rare three-day break in the schedule, the New York Islanders are back in action on Saturday night when they take on the Boston Bruins at Barclays Center. 

The Islanders have won their past two games, most recently scoring a 4-3 overtime victory over Metropolitan Division rivals, the New Jersey Devils, on Tuesday night. Anders Lee scored the OT winner, while Casey Cizikas, Jordan Eberle and Tom Kuhnhackl scored in regulation. Thomas Greiss made 32 saves. 

The Bruins are coming off of a 5-4 victory over Winnipeg on Thursday night. David Pastrnak had a hat trick and Jake DeBrusk scored twice. Former Islander Jaroslav Halak made 17 saves. 


ISLES NOTES:

-   Lee scored his first career overtime goal and his second game-winning goal in as many games. Through 42 games this season, Lee has 25 points (13G, 12A). 

-   Cizikas scored his ninth goal of the season. The center has 13 points (9G, 4A) through 37 games. Cizikas scored a career-high 20 goals last season.

-   Eberle broke a 10-game goal drought and a six-game pointless stretch as he lit the lamp for the fourth time this season. The winger has 18 points through 32 games. 

-   Kuhnhackl scored his third goal of the season - all coming in the past six games. The winger has four points through 16 games. Kuhnhackl took a maintenance day on Friday, but is expected to be in the lineup for Saturday's contest, per Head Coach Barry Trotz. 

-   Dal Colle assisted on Kuhnhackl's goal to grab his second assist in as many games. The winger played in his third-straight game and has six points (2G, 4A) through 31 games this season. 

-   Mathew Barzal assisted on the Lee's OT winner to record his 19th assist of the season. The 22-year-old center leads the Isles in assists, goals (16) and points (35).

-   Greiss returned between the pipes for the first time in five games against New Jersey and earned his first win since Dec. 12 to improve his record to 12-7-0. Greiss has a 2.59 goals against average and a .919 save percentage.

-   Semyon Varlamov had started five straight games prior to Greiss' start on Tuesday. Varlamov is coming off a 32-save shutout over the Colorado Avalanche - his former team - on Monday. Varlamov is 15-5-3 with a 2.30 GAA and a .924 SV% this season with two shutouts. The Russian goalie is 3-2-0 in his last five starts. 

-   The Islanders lead the NHL in overtime goals with seven and improved their record to 7-2 in the extra period. The Isles are 15-3-3 in games decided by a single goal including 5-3 in regulation. The win against New Jersey bumped the Isles points up to 57 and extended their record to 27-12-3. 

-   The Islanders multi-goal effort vs the Devils was the first time in the last four games the Isles scored more than one goal. 

-   The game against New Jersey was the second leg of a back-to-back after defeating Colorado 1-0 the night prior. This season, the Isles are 4-1-0 in the front-half and 4-1-0 in the second leg. 

-   The three-day break between games is the last time during the regular season that the Isles will go three days without a game, excluding the bye week and All Star break at the end of January.

-   The Isles return to Barclays Center for the first time since Nov. 30 as they host the Bruins Saturday night. 

-   Sebastian Aho was returned on loan to Bridgeport on Thursday. The defenseman was initially recalled on Jan. 3 in wake of an Achilles tendon injury.

Video: Morning Skate 1/11: Barry Trotz


BRUINS NOTES:

-   Pastrnak recorded his third hat trick of the 2019-20 season and extended his point streak to 12 games with nine goals and 10 assists in that span. Pastrnak now has an NHL-leading 35 goals this season has a team-high 65 points through 45 games. Pastrnak also leads the Black and Gold in power-play goals with 16 this season. The 23-year-old Czech winger is third in the league in points. 

-   DeBrusk had a three-point night (2G, 1A) as he registered his 12th and 13th goals of the season. DeBrusk has 24 points (13G, 11A) through 40 games. 

-   Brad Marchand assisted on one of Pastrnak's goals. The winger leads the Bruins in assists with 42 this season and has 62 points through 45 games. Marchand has assists in three straight games and points in seven of his last eight games with 11 points (2G, 9A) during that span. 

-   Torey Krug had one assist vs the Jets and leads the Bruins' blueline in goals (5), assists (25) and points (30) through his 37 appearances this season. 

-   Halak made his 19th start of the season and improved his record to 10-4-5. The former Islander has a 2.34 GAA and a .923 SV%. Halak is tied for a league-high three shutouts this season. 

-   Against the Jets, the Bruins power play went 1-for-4. In the NHL, the extra-man unit is ranked third overall with a conversion rate of 27.4%. 

-   The Bruins penalty kill had an uncharacteristic showing against Winnipeg as it went 0-for-2. Across the NHL, the B's PK unit is ranked second overall with a kill rate of 83.7%. 

-   The Bruins relinquish the second-lowest average goals against across the NHL with an average of 2.47 behind Dallas's 2.34.

-   At the circle, the Bruins faceoff win percentage is ranked eighth-best in the NHL with 51% of draws resulting in their favor. 

-   Bruins captain Zdeno Chara missed one game after undergoing a procedure for the jaw injury he sustained in Game 5 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Chara practiced full-contact on Friday afternoon and is expected to be available to face the Islanders. 

-   Bruins defenseman Conor Clifton, who is the former teammate at Quinnipiac University of Islanders defenseman Devon Toews, is on injured reserve with an upper-body injury and has been sidelined since Dec. 29. 


Video: Barzal scores in 2nd, nets SO winner in 3-2 win
ISLES VS. BRUINS:

The Isles and Bruins last met on Dec. 18 at TD Garden where the Isles won 3-2 after three rounds of a shootout. Eberle and Barzal scored in the shootout, while Johnny Boychuk and Barzal scored in regulation. Varlamov made 27 saves. 

The Bruins have won eight-straight games on New York's home ice, five of which were in Brooklyn and the other three at NYCB Live. 

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