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Islanders, off 57 shots, back home to face Bruins

by John Kreiser

BRUINS (8-4-0) at ISLANDERS (5-5-3)


Last 10: Boston 6-4-0; New York 3-5-2

Season series: The Boston Bruins and New York Islanders meet for the first of three times. Boston won two of three last season and has won its past three visits to Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Big story: Which Islanders team will show up on the second night of a back-to-back, the one that was outplayed through most of consecutive home losses to the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers, or the one that bombarded the Ottawa Senators with 57 shots in a 5-4 shootout win on the road Friday night? While the Islanders were playing, the Bruins were waiting for them on Long Island after a 3-2 shootout win at home against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday.

Team Scope:

Bruins: With Boston coming off a split of back-to-back games against the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Ducks, skating was optional Friday before the flight to Long Island. That didn't mean it was an off day for coach Claude Julien, whose biggest question is who to start in goal.

Tuukka Rask has been among the NHL's best this season, but he's played 11 of the 12 games and was in goal for tough contests against the Penguins and Ducks. Julien could opt to give backup Chad Johnson his second start of the season.

"We’re going to see," Julien told the media, according to the Bruins website. "Obviously Tuukka’s played the last two games, he gets a break today, and Chad’s out there right now [skating]. So if we decide to go with him, we have to make sure that he’s ready, so I haven’t made that decision yet."

Islanders: It took New York a few minutes to get started in Ottawa, but once the Islanders found their legs, they began firing away at goaltender Robin Lehner. The 57 shots on goal were the most by an NHL team this season. But it was a shot that didn't show up in that count, a forehand by Frans Nielsen in the shootout, that gave the Islanders the victory in a game they trailed 2-0 and 4-2.

"I was proud of the way that we played tonight," coach Jack Capuano said. "We came back from two-goal deficits. We kept battling. We stayed the course and they got rewarded for that."

Evgeni Nabokov overcame a shaky start and finished with 27 saves through 65 minutes before going 3-for-3 in the shootout. Capuano may opt to use backup Kevin Poulin on the second night of a back-to-back, as he's done both times before. However, Poulin has lost both games and struggled last Saturday against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Who's hot: Bruins forward Jarome Iginla has three goals and seven points in the past five games. … Nielsen scored his eighth goal of the season early in the third period Friday; he had six all of last season.

Injury report: Boston is without forward Loui Eriksson (head). Defenseman Johnny Boychuk left the game against Anaheim on Thursday after crashing into the boards in the second period; he's listed as day-to-day. … The Islanders are without defensemen Lubomir Visnovsky (concussion) and Brian Strait (upper body), as well as forward Colin McDonald (hip).

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