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Preview: Bruins at Islanders

Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask out; New York hosts crucial game in Eastern Conference wild-card race

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

BRUINS (38-30-6) at ISLANDERS (35-26-12)

7 p.m. ET; MSG+, NESN, NHL.TV


Bruins team scope

The Boston Bruins look to end a four-game losing streak and regain the upper hand in the Eastern Conference wild-card race. The Bruins are tied in points with the New York Islanders for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs; the Islanders have one game in hand. The Tampa Bay Lightning are one point back of Boston and New York. Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask did not make the trip to Barclays Center because of a lower-body injury, and is day to day; backup Anton Khudobin will start. "It's a really important game for us," forward David Pastrnak told the Bruins website Friday. "But you can't let that hit you and be nervous. You have to go out there and play aggressive and help the team the way you can and don't try to do anything more." The Bruins, 12-7-0 since Bruce Cassidy succeeded Claude Julien as coach, have given up 20 goals in their four straight losses. Forward Brad Marchand, with 37 goals, is one away from establishing a career season high. He began Saturday third in the NHL in goals and fourth in scoring.

Islanders team scope

The New York Islanders, 3-1-1 in their past five games, hold the second wild card in the Eastern Conference after a 4-3 shootout win at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday. "We have a lot of work to do, but I think we feel good in here right now with where our game's at," center Casey Cizikas said after the game Friday. Islanders captain John Tavares had two assists and scored the shootout winner against the Penguins. The Islanders are 18-9-4 since coach Doug Weight took over for Jack Capuano on Jan. 17. The Islanders are 9-2-3 in their past 14 games at Barclays Center and 20-10-7 there this season. They are also 2-0-0 against the Bruins this season with a 4-2 win on Dec. 20 and a 4-0 win on Jan. 16, Capuano's last game. Both of those wins were at Boston. Goaltender Thomas Greiss, who started in each win against Boston, allowing two goals on 82 shots, is expected to start after Jaroslav Halak made 37 saves against the Penguins. It was Halak's first NHL game since Dec. 29.


Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Backes

Drew Stafford -- David Krejci -- David Pastrnak

Frank Vatrano -- Ryan Spooner -- Noel Acciari

Matt Beleskey -- Dominic Moore -- Riley Nash

Zdeno Chara -- Brandon Carlo

Torey Krug -- Adam McQuaid

Colin Miller -- Kevan Miller

Anton Khudobin

Zane McIntyre

Scratched: Jimmy Hayes, John-Michael Liles, Joe Morrow

Injured: Tuukka Rask (lower body), Tim Schaller (lower body)


Islanders projected lineup

Anders Lee -- John Tavares -- Josh Bailey

Andrew Ladd -- Anthony Beauvillier -- Joshua Ho-Sang

Shane Prince -- Brock Nelson -- Jason Chimera

Stephen Gionta -- Casey Cizikas -- Cal Clutterbuck

Nick Leddy -- Adam Pelech

Calvin de Haan -- Travis Hamonic

Dennis Seidenberg -- Scott Mayfield

Thomas Greiss

Jaroslav Halak

Scratched: Jean-Francois Berube, Alan Quine, Thomas Hickey

Injured: Ryan Strome (upper body), Johnny Boychuk (lower body), Nikolay Kulemin (undisclosed)


Status report

McIntyre was called up from Providence of the American Hockey League on an emergency basis Saturday because of Rask's injury. … The Bruins held an optional morning skate Saturday. … Kulemin left the game against Pittsburgh early in the second period, but is unable to play. Gionta entered the lineup in Kulemin's place. ... The Islanders made two other changes, substituting Prince for Quine and Seidenberg for Hickey.


Who's hot

Marchand has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in his past six games and 21 points (12 goals, nine assists) in his past 14. … Pastrnak has 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in his past 13 games. … Bergeron has 15 points (three goals, 12 assists) in his past 14 games. … Tavares has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in his past 10 games. … Ho-Sang has seven points (two goals, five assists) in his past seven games. 

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