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Isles Looking Forward to Response Game Against Bruins

After an uncharacteristic loss to Nashville, the Islanders hope to flip the page as they take on the Boston Bruins

by Sasha Kandrach KandrachSasha /

No matter if the New York Islanders have won or lost a game this season, the message following the game has remained the same; put it behind you and put in the work for the next one. 

That's why Head Coach Barry Trotz doesn't see Thursday's nationally televised contest against the Boston Bruins as a measuring stick, but rather as a response game after an 8-3 loss to Nashville on Tuesday. 

"You know over the course of an 82-game schedule there is going to be games where it just doesn't go as planned," Trotz said. "It doesn't feel good, but you know what? You wipe yourself off of the floor, you get up and you get into battle again. We've got a big battle tomorrow against Boston." 

Tuesday's loss, which snapped the team's 13-game home point streak (12-0-1) and ended their six-game home win streak, was uncharacteristic of the Islanders, who are third in the East with 46 points. The Isles felt the 'outlier' result wasn't a proper reflection of the 60-minute tussle, or their collective ability as one of the stingiest teams of the past year and a half. As a result, they were eager to follow the same pattern they have after a win or a loss and direct their focus to the next task at hand.

Video: Practice 12/18: Barry Trotz

"You just put it in perspective," Trotz said "We're not pleased that we lost 8-3, that's for sure, but you've got to put it into the right context. I've tried to put every win and loss [in the right context]. I've probably been more mad after a couple of wins than an 8-3 loss last night because some games we stunk and we stole the game. Last night it just wasn't our night." 

The road to redemption started late in the third period against Nashville, as Trotz took note of how his penalty killers showed no hesitation and continued to block shots despite being down by five goals. 

"It tells you what kind of people we have in the dressing room," Trotz said following the loss. "We have guys blocking shots. It's an 8-3 game, instead of jumping out of the way it tells you a lot about the people we have in this locker room." 

The level-headed group hopes to stay out of the box on Thursday, as they face off against the NHL's third best power play at 26.4%. The Bruins' unit is highlighted by the league's leading goal scorer, David Pastrnak, who has 13-of-his-28 goals have come on the power play.  

"There's so many teams now that have really strong power plays and Boston is one of them," Cal Clutterbuck said. "I think you just focus on what you think that [power play] unit is going to do when you're out there and how you can get in position to disrupt them. Sometimes you're able to counter off of that and build some momentum. It'll be a good test [tomorrow night] for us." 

The Bruins and Islanders are the top-two defensive teams in the Eastern Conference, as Boston allows 2.46 GA/GP to the Islanders' 2.50 GA/GP. Similar to the Islanders, the Bruins confidently roll four lines, have a solid d-core and are backstopped by the joint efforts of Tuukka Rask and former Islander Jaroslav Halak.  

"It sounds a lot like us when you look at it," Devon Toews said. "We give teams a fit in our own end and they do the same. We're going to be challenged to create our own opportunities as well as shut their opportunities down. They've got great goaltending and we've got great goaltending. It's going to be a battle of little details."



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