Winners of five or their last six, the Bruins (28-23-11) take their show on the road for seven straight games, beginning with this afternoon’s game on Long Island to face the slumping New York Islanders. The seven-game roadie marks the longest road trip since the ’03-’04 season for the B’s.
Boston is coming off a 3-2 shootout win Thursday over Toronto that marked their first win at the Garden in 2010. The Bruins hadn’t won on Causeway St. since late December. Tim Thomas, in his first start in over a month, led the way with 24 saves in the game, followed by three key saves in the shootout to seal the deal. Miroslav Satan powered the offense, with a goal and an assist in regulation, followed by the only goal in the shootout.
The Islanders’ ship has sunk as of late, losing 10 of their last 13 to sink into a tie for 12th in the East with Florida. They’re coming off a tough 6-3 loss to Atlanta on Thursday, where the Thrashers opened the game with four first period goals, knocking starter Dwayne Roloson out of the game early.
So now, let’s get this show on the road and hit you with some game notes, leading into the Saturday matinee on the Island…
New York has taken two of the three previous meetings this season against Boston, including their last meeting, a 3-2 overtime win back on 12/12. Today will be the fourth and final meeting of the year.
Just when the B’s finally looked like they were getting healthy again, a trio of players have hit the shelf with injuries. Tuukka Rask, who missed Thursday’s game in favor of Thomas, is listed as day-to-day with a knee injury. To back up Thomas this weekend, the Bruins recalled goalie Dany Sabourin from Providence. Also out on Thursday was defenseman Andrew Ference and center Patrice Bergeron, both bothered with groin injuries. Both are also listed as day-to-day and could return this weekend.
Speaking of Bergeron, his 37 points lead the Bruins’ offense. Those 37 points are the lowest total of any team leader in the league.
For New York, their walking wounded include defenseman Andy MacDonald, who broke his foot on Tuesday and will miss the remainder of the season. Also out for the Islanders is forward Trent Hunter (upper body injury) and oft-injured goaltender Rick DiPietro (knee).
The Islanders are led on the stat sheet by three wingers, Kyle Okposo (13G, 27A), Matt Moulson (22G, 16A), and John Tavares (17G, 18A).
In goal, the veteran pair of Dwayne Roloson (20-13-6, 2.93GAA) and Martin Biron (4-12-2, 3.26GAA) man the net for New York.
Not a lot of offense is expected at Nassau Colisseum this afternoon. Boston ranks dead last in the NHL at 2.32 goals per game, while the Islanders aren’t much better at 2.50, good for 27th in the league.