The Bruins will look to avoid a three-game losing streak Monday night when they host high-flying rookie phenom John Tavares and the New York Islanders at the Garden this evening.
It surely has been a while, but the Bruins are actually looking UP at the Islanders in the Eastern Conference standings. Entering play, New York (7-6-7, 21 points) has a one-point advantage over Boston (8-7-4, 20 points). Most preseason prognosticators had the Island-dwellers as cellar-dwellers this season.
Let’s look closer at the matchup, a game that will hopefully bring some winning ways back to Beantown, after what was a brutal weekend for our three active local sports teams.
- This will be the 2nd meeting of these two squads on the year. In Boston’s 4th game of the year, the Bruins erased a three-goal deficit with just 7 minutes remaining, to send the game to extra time. The B’s eventually cemented the come-from-behind win in the shootout, 4-3.
- Boston hasn’t lost in regulation to the Islanders in their last 7 meetings, going 6-0-1 against them since the ’06-’07 season.
- The Bruins have taken at least one point in their last 5 home games, going 3-0-2 in that span.
- For New York, this marks the 4th game on a season-long seven-game road trip. They have been able to take points in their previous 3 games on the trip thus far, going 1-0-2 heading into the game. In their most recent game, the Isles fought back from a late 4-2 deficit to take the game to overtime in Florida against the Panthers, a game they eventually lost 5-4 in the shootout.
- The Islanders are led by early Rookie of the Year favorite John Tavares, whose 8 goals and 10 assists both lead the team. Tavares has 7 points in his last 4 games, and 3 goals in his last 2. Following Tavares on the stat sheet is young wingers Matt Moulson (8G, 8A), Kyle Okposo (5G, 8A), and defenseman Mark Streit (4G, 7A).
- New York will be without their captain, veteran center Doug Weight, for the next 4-6 weeks, while he nurses an undisclosed upper body injury. Also sidelined for the Islanders is defenseman Radek Martinek, whose torn ACL will sideline him for the rest of the season.
- All early indications point to a goalie matchup of Tuukka Rask (3-1-1, 2.33GAA) facing New York’s Martin Biron (2-5-2, 2.83GAA).
- Former Providence Bruin center Nate Thompson has been featured in 16 games for the Islanders thus far this year. Thompson, a 6th-round pick of the Bruins in the 2003 draft, spent four seasons with the Baby B’s, from ’05-’08. He appeared in 4 games for the big club in the ’06-’07 season as well. Thompson has 4 assists on the season with New York.
Tags: Boston Bruins, Doug Weight, Ice Breakers, John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Mark Streit, Martin Biron, Matt Moulson, New York Islanders, Radek Martinek, Tuukka Raskk