NEW YORK ISLANDERS (37-20-8) VS. BOSTON BRUINS (38-23-8)
1 P.M. TD GARDEN, MSG+, WNYE 91.5 FM, WRHU 88.7 FM, LI NEWS 103.9 FM
1. NICK LEDDY STREAKING:
Nick Leddy is on fire of late, bringing a four-game point streak (1G, 6A) to Boston. Leddy has recorded three straight multi-point games, only the fourth Islanders’ defenseman in 28 years to do so.
According to Islanders’ statistician Eric Hornick Alexei Zhitnik was the last to do so, scoring two-or-more points in three straight from Oct. 20-25, 2005.
So it’s been a while.
How does Leddy do it? He’s the most fluid skater on the Islanders, able to rush the puck from end-to-end as he did on Wednesday night in Toronto. Leddy is also quarterbacking the Islanders first power-play unit and is getting shots through to the net. He doesn’t always get credit for the goals – Anders Lee and Kyle Okposo have each tipped a Leddy shot in the past four games – but he’s creating offense for the Islanders. Leddy has 36 points (5G, 31A) this season, one point shy of matching his career-high.
2. ISLES-BRUINS III:
The Islanders and Bruins meet for the third and final time this season. The Islanders lost the first two meetings, 5-3 and 2-1 at Barclays Center. Overall, the Islanders have lost four straight to the Bruins, dating back to last season, though their one win last year did come at TD Garden.
Note the 1 p.m. start time, as the Islanders and Bruins battle in a Saturday afternoon matinee.
3. GREISS LIKELY IN GOAL:
With Jaroslav Halak out for the next six-to-eight weeks, Thomas Greiss assumes the duties as the Islanders’ number one goaltender and is likely the starter on Saturday afternoon in Boston. Greiss is having a career-year, setting new marks for wins (18) and games played (30) and is second in the NHL with a .929 save percentage. He is 7-0-2 in his last nine games.
The Islanders feel they are in good hands with Greiss while Halak recovers from a lower-body injury.
“Greiss is a very confident goaltender in net and we have a lot of confidence in him,” Matt Martin said. “He’s been outstanding all season for us. We know we’re solid in net and we just have to play well in front of him. There are absolutely no issues with Greiss carrying the load.”
4. BERGERON SCORING:
Patrice Bergeron is enjoying quite the bounce-back season offensively, leading the Bruins with 61 points (28G, 33A) in 67 games this season. The Bruins’ center has already surpassed his goals, assists and points totals from last season (23-32-55) and is looking to crack 70 points for the first time since 2006-07.
Bergeron, who has three Selke Trophy’s as best defensive forward, hasn’t scored 70 points since a concussion limited him to 10 games in the 2007-08 season. His toughness cannot be disputed, as he worked his way back from the long-term injury in 2007 and also played through a separated shoulder and had a hole in his lung during the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.
He is rolling at the moment, bringing a six-game point streak (5G, 3A) into Saturday’s matinee against the Islanders. As he goes, the Bruins go, as Boston is also riding a six-game point streak, going 4-0-2 over that span.