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Bruins-Islanders Preview @NHL
Bruins-Islanders Preview

GAME: Boston Bruins (7-6-5) at New York Islanders (7-9-0).

TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m. EST.

It's been nearly four years since the New York Islanders have lost to the Boston Bruins at Nassau Coliseum.

New York looks to take advantage of a Boston team that's dropped six consecutive road games when it hosts the Bruins for the second time this season.

Shawn Bates' overtime goal led the Islanders to a 4-3 victory on Nov. 1, extending their home unbeaten streak to six games against the Bruins since a 4-2 defeat on Dec. 22, 2001. New York has lost only four times in its last 20 games in this series at Nassau Coliseum.

Facing the Bruins at home comes at the right time for the Islanders, who've lost five of seven and are in the midst of playing seven of eight games on the road.

New York completed a three-game road trip Thursday with a 3-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Miroslav Satan and Mike York scored power-play goals in the first period to give the Islanders a 2-0 lead, but they allowed three unanswered goals and Antero Niittymaki made 38 saves for Philadelphia.

Rick DiPietro finished with 27 saves for New York in losing for the fourth time in five starts.

"This was one of those games that we didn't deserve to lose," DiPietro said. "They took it to another level in the second period. We needed to have that killer instinct and put teams away."

DiPietro is winless in four career starts against the Bruins despite owning a 1.91 goals-against average and .938 save percentage.

Boston had a nine-game points streak snapped Thursday with a 5-2 home loss to the Ottawa Senators. The Bruins went 4-0-5 and hadn't lost in regulation since a 4-3 defeat to the Buffalo Sabres on Oct. 20.

Andrew Raycroft had 25 saves Thursday, but allowed three goals in a 4:55 span of the second period. Raycroft was sidelined for Boston's previous six games with a hamstring strain.

Joe Thornton extended his points streak to seven games when he assisted on Glen Murray's short-handed goal in the second period. He has five goals and nine assists during the streak.

Thornton has eight goals and 10 assists in 26 career games against the Islanders.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 11): Bruins - 19 points, 3rd place, 7 PB, Northeast Division. Islanders - 14 points, 5th place, 9 PB, Atlantic Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Bruins - Murray, 9 goals; Thornton, 19 assists and 26 points; Hal Gill, 32 PIM. Islanders - Satan, 9 goals; Alexei Zhitnik, 11 assists; Alexei Yashin, 18 points; Janne Niinimaa, 34 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 11): Bruins - Power play: 20.0 percent (23 for 115), 10th in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.2 percent (104 for 122), 6th. Islanders - Power play: 15.6 percent (16 for 102), 22nd. Penalty killing: 80.4 percent (99 for 123), 20th.

GOALTENDERS: Bruins - Raycroft (3-5-2, 3.53 GAA); Hannu Toivonen (4-1-3, 3.24). Islanders - DiPietro (5-7-0, 3.42); Garth Snow (2-2-0, 3.69).

SEASON SERIES: Islanders, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Nov. 1; Islanders 4-3, OT. At Uniondale, N.Y., Thornton tied it for Boston at 18:59 of the third period before Bates scored 4:31 into overtime.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Bruins - 3-3-4 on the road; Islanders - 4-3-0 at home.

Associated Press

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