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New York Islanders vs. Boston Bruins

by Dyan LeBourdais / New York Islanders
Team Record: 5-8-3

Last Game: 4-3 W vs. MTL
Season Series: 0-1-0 of 4
Team Record: 10-7-0
Last Game: 2-1 SOW vs. CBJ
Season Series: 1-0-0 of 4
Jay Pandolfo
After Thursday night’s win over the Montreal Canadiens, Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano talked about how it was good to have some of the underrated players on the team chip in offensively and that included Jay Pandolfo, who was left off the score sheet until that night when he recorded his 100th career goal.

As a young player, Matt Martin has tried to learn from his linemate. And even though he sees what an impact player Pandolfo is to the team, he knows that his veteran counterpart doesn’t always get the credit he deserves.

“In Pandolfo's case, how many shots does he block that probably would have been in the net and how many times has he given up his body to kind of save a goal for us? The bad thing about the stat sheet is if you don’t watch the game, you look at it and see who got the points. But there is so much more in the game and Pando is one of those guys that brings that effort every night.”

He added, “To see him get his 100th goal, it was awesome and I am happy I got to be a part of it.”

Capuano couldn't be happier with his veteran's presence on the ice.

"He's a very experienced guy," Capuano said. "He does a lot of things the right way at crucial times of the game. We are extremely happy with his play, his penalty killing. Anything he chips in offensively is a bonus. Again, he goes to the right areas, he reads plays and (Thursday) night he had three or four quality chances. It was good to see him get his 100th goal."
Tyler Seguin
While he’s scoreless in his last two games, Seguin leads all Bruins in scoring with 11 goals and nine assists; he also carries a team-high +15 rating. Though his 11 goals are in a four-way tie for fourth in the league, he's just two goals behind the league’s leading scorer Phil Kessel, the player which the Islanders traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a first round selection in each of the next two draft years (Seguin and Dougie Hamilton respectively) and a second round selection in 2010 (Jared Knight).

Just 17 games into the season, the 19-year-old Brampton, ON native is just two assists shy of matching his rookie season’s stats as his 11 goals in the first 17 games of the season tie last year’s output after 74 games. If he keeps up this pace, Seguin could be well over a 40-goal scorer by the end of the regular season.

Secondary scoring
While the Bruins top-tier players have scored their share of goals this season, the team received scoring from some of their role players in the Bruins last two games. Thursday night, defenseman Adam McQuaid’s second period goal (his first of the season) tied the score with Columbus at one, paving the way for David Krejci (3-5=8) to score in the shootout for the win.

On Tuesday night, the Bruins first two goals were scored by consistent offensive leaders Brad Marchand (6-7=13) and Chris Kelly (5-5=10), but they also received a tally from Shawn Thornton (his first of the season) and the game-winner from Benoit Pouliot (his second of the season).
Thursday night was a big night for the Islanders as they earned their first win in five games, adding the much needed confidence the Islanders will need when facing the defending Stanley Cup champions for the second time this season.

While the win provided a much-needed two points in the standings, it also provided some secondary scoring from some very deserving players. Jay Pandolfo hit a major milestone as he scored his first goal of season (100th of his career), with an assist from Josh Bailey (1-2=3) and Matt Martin (2-2=4).

“Last night, guys got more involved and when that happens, it’s going to help us succeed in the win-loss category. But at the same time, it wasn’t only our forwards. Our D activated real well last night. They got up in the play, they gapped up, they held pucks in and that’s something that we are trying to be more conscious of.”

Having the defense get up in the play, forced the Canadiens’ hand in more than a few situations, allowing the Islanders to get that much needed extended zone time that would also help them succeed against the Bruins. Having the blue-liners cycle paid off for Mark Streit, who scored his second goal of season, his first at even strength (Martin’s second assist of the night).

“I liked the way our D played,” Capuano said. “Streiter jumped up last night. I saw other guys going into the play and it creates confusion and vice versa for us. We have to continue to do that as a group.”

Note: Saturday night’s matchup between the Islanders and Bruins a special night to remember. Prior to the game, the Islanders will induct their first captain in Islanders history, Ed Westfall, into the Hall of Fame. Though he won two Stanley Cups with the Bruins (1970, 1972) and retired the year prior to the Islanders 4-cup run, Westfall’s nine-year tenure with the Islanders was one that set the path for the rise of the dynasty.
Another outstanding effort in net helped the Boston Bruins extend their winning streak, even with the rest of the team a bit sluggish.

Boston will try to win its eighth straight Saturday night when it visits the New York Islanders, who will be without Evgeni Nabokov.

Despite their worst offensive effort in over two weeks, the Bruins (10-7-0) still managed to push their streak to seven with a 2-1 shootout victory over Columbus on Thursday.

Boston finished with 27 shots - third-fewest of the season - against the club with the NHL's worst record. The Bruins scored at least four regulation goals in the first six games of the streak, totaling 34 during that span.

"We looked a little tired. You could see it in our players' faces and the way they were coming back to the bench," coach Claude Julien said. "The one thing that I liked was that no matter what, we still found a way to win."

Tuukka Rask kept the Bruins in the game with 30 saves. Boston has allowed 14 goals during the seven-game run. (Continue Reading)

The Bruins and Islanders last faced each other Mon. Nov, 7. Benoit Pouliot got the Bruins on the board 1:31 into the first, but Matt Moulson evened the score at one. Nathan Horton notched a power play goal and Tyler Seguin scored to give the Bruins a two-goal lead. Michael Grabner closed out the five-goal first period and closed the score differential 3-2. However, a goal from Milan Lucic, a second goal from Horton and an empty net tally from David Krejci catapulted the Bruins to a 6-2 win.
- Mark Katic - Shoulder (9/24 vs. NJ) - 16 games missed (Out indefinitely)

- Rhett Rakhshani - Concussion (9/27 at CGY) - 16 games missed (Out indefinitely)
Power Play %: 17.0%
Penalty Kill %: 80.7%
Home Record: 5-4-1
Road Record: 0-4-2
Goals For: 35
Goals Against: 50
Power Play %: 16.4%
Penalty Kill %: 85.5%
Home Record: 8-5-0
Road Record: 2-2-0
Goals For: 58
Goals Against: 39
(Answer from 11/17: Feb. 19, 1974. It took the Islanders 10 games to beat the Montreal Canadiens, but on that date, the Isles won a 5-3 decision. To be fair, the Isles were an expansion team in ’72-’73 and the Habs would win the Stanley Cup that spring.)
Check out the Islanders depth chart. Rick DiPietro will start in net, Anders Nilsson was recalled from the Sound Tigers to back-up. Evgeni Nabokov was placed on IR (groin); Al Montoya (hamstring), Mike Mottau and Kyle Okposo are scratches.

Bruins (Expected) Lineups
Forwards: Marchand-Bergeron-Seguin, Lucic-Krejci-Horton, Pouliot-Kelly-Peverley, Paille-Campbell-Thornton

Defensemen: Chara-Boychuk, Seidenberg-Corvo, Ference-McQuaid

Goaltenders: Thomas, Rask

Expected Scratches: Caron, Bartowski, Kampfer

The Bruins of late have returned to their Stanley Cup form, earning seven straight wins. So playing smart for a complete 60-minutes will be extremely important on the Isles drive to start a winning streak of their own.

Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano said: "It’s an important game for us. Obviously they are a team that’s on a roll right now, won 7 straight I believe and they got their mojo back. This is a big team, they are a fast team. Special teams is good, goaltending’s good. Stanley Cup champions, it’s a good test for us coming off a win Saturday night in front of our fans, they need to play another good game."

Cory Wright contributed to this report
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