GAME: New York Islanders (19-16-2-1) at Boston Bruins (15-11-9-4).
TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m. EST.
The New York Islanders are certain they will be without their best player
when they face the Boston Bruins.
They also will be without another of their top forwards and may be without
Islanders star center Alexei Yashin has missed the past five games with a
lacerated forearm that will keep him out until at least March. Captain Michael
Peca missed the final two periods of Wednesday's 6-1 rout of Pittsburgh with a
groin strain, and was unable to play Thursday as New York's six-game win streak
was snapped with a 1-0 loss at Ottawa.
Right wing Mark Parrish, tied for second on the Islanders with 13 goals,
played only 96 seconds Thursday before spraining his left ankle. He is expected
to miss up to eight weeks.
Despite missing three of their best players, the Islanders played the
Senators to a scoreless tie before Peter Schaefer scored the game's only goal
with 5:55 left in regulation.
"We still played hard, which is good," Islanders defenseman Adrian Aucoin
said. "That's the kind of game, if you're going to lose, you want to go down
fighting, but it's a disappointing loss."
New York failed to get a point for just the third time in 14 games
Garth Snow played another strong game in net for New York, stopping 22 of 23
shots. He has allowed one goal in each of his last three starts.
While the Islanders have been moving up the Eastern Conference standings
lately, the Bruins have been sliding down.
Boston ended a nine-game home winless streak Thursday with a 3-2 victory
Rookie Shaone Morrison scored his first NHL goal and added an assist for the
Bruins, winners of just three of 15 games (3-7-5) in December.
"It was important to get back in the win column," Bruins coach Mike
Sullivan said. "We want to be a team that establishes pride in our home
building and this was a big test for us."
With left wing Sergei Samsonov returning from a nine-game absence due to a
knee injury, Sullivan put captain Joe Thornton on a new line with Samsonov and
18-year-old Patrice Bergeron.
"I played with Bergie one game and Sergei another game but I'd never played
with them both together," said Thornton, who has gone nine games without a
goal. "They're both exciting players. It's going to bring a new dimension to
The Bruins are just 5-6-6-1 at home and have been shut out five times this
season at the FleetCenter.