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Islanders at Bruins preview

Boston tries to defeat New York for eighth consecutive time

by Matt Kalman / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

ISLANDERS (22-8-2) at BRUINS (21-7-7)

7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SNE, SNO, SNP, TVAS, NESN, NHL.TV 

 

The Game 

The Boston Bruins will look to defeat the New York Islanders for the eighth straight time when they meet at TD Garden on Thursday.

The Atlantic Division-leading Bruins, 1-4-2 in their past seven games after an eight-game winning streak, have not lost to the Islanders since a 4-0 home loss on Jan. 16, 2017. 

Goalie Tuukka Rask will start and seek to end his season-long four-game winless streak; he's 0-2-2 with a 3.50 goals-against average and .878 save percentage in that span.

New York, 6-3-0 in its past nine games, eyes its third consecutive road win. Goalie Semyon Varlamov, who allowed three goals on nine shots in relief of Thomas Greiss during an 8-3 loss to the Nashville Predators on Tuesday, will look to win his fifth start in a row. He has allowed six goals in his past four starts.

 

Players to watch

Islanders center Brock Nelson has five points (three goals, two assists) in his past four games.

Bruins forward Brad Marchand has seven assists in a five-game point streak.

 

They said it

"They come and compete and they know their roles. And there's an expectation of how they need to play night in and night out. They've got two good goaltenders, they're pretty solid on the back end and they give you a structure, an accountable game every night." -- Islanders coach Barry Trotz on the Bruins

"I think we've played better lately. We haven't had the wins to show for it. I still stay the last four games have been better overall than maybe some of the ones when we won. So you've got to keep that in mind. We've got to correct the things we're doing that are separating us from winning and losing, obviously." -- Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy

 

Islanders projected lineup

Ross Johnston -- Mathew Barzal -- Josh Bailey

Anders Lee -- Derick Brassard -- Jordan Eberle

Anthony Beauvillier -- Brock Nelson -- Tom Kuhnhackl

Matt Martin -- Casey Cizikas -- Cal Clutterbuck

Adam Pelech -- Ryan Pulock

Devon Toews -- Scott Mayfield

Nick Leddy -- Johnny Boychuk

Semyon Varlamov

Thomas Greiss

Scratched: Leo Komarov

Injured: Michael Dal Colle (upper body)

 

Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk -- David Krejci -- Danton Heinen

Anders Bjork -- Charlie Coyle -- Chris Wagner

Joakim Nordstrom -- Sean Kuraly -- David Backes

Zdeno Chara -- Charlie McAvoy

Torey Krug -- Brandon Carlo

Matt Grzelcyk -- Connor Clifton

Tuukka Rask

Jaroslav Halak

Scratched: Brett Ritchie, Par Lindholm

Injured: Karson Kuhlman (fractured tibia), Kevan Miller (knee), John Moore (illness)

 

Status report

The Islanders held an optional morning skate. … Kuhnhackl will return after missing 22 games with a lower-body injury and will replace Komarov. … Dal Colle will miss his second straight game but is skating and is day-to-day. … Marchand missed practice Wednesday but skated Thursday and is expected to play. … Clifton will replace Moore.

 

Stat pack

Beauvillier has four points (one goal, three assists) in his past two games. … Pastrnak has six points (three goals, three assists) in his past five games.

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