The New York Islanders will roll into TD Garden for the second time this season to take on the Boston Bruins in a Monday matinee. Their first meeting of the season took place on Dec. 20 and the Islanders captured a 4-2 victory behind a stellar 48-save performance from Thomas Greiss.
New York has struggled in their recent string of games, dropping five of their last seven, including a 7-4 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in their last outing. The recent struggles have relegated the Islanders to 16th in the Eastern Conference standings.
On the other side, Boston has found the scoring touch that was escaping them in the first half of the season. In their last five games, the Bruins have scored 19 goals and have produced at least one power-play goal in nine of their last 12 games. They will be looking to keep their offense in high gear and capture their first victory over the Islanders of the 2016-17 season.
New York Islanders at Boston Bruins
TD Garden-1:00 p.m. E.S.T
Broadcast Channels- NESN, SN, MSG+, 98.5 The Sports Hub
2016-17 Season Series: Islanders Lead 1-0
New York Islanders-16-17-8- 40 Points
Road Record: 5-9-4
Hot Players: John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Johnny Boychuk
Key Injuries: Mikhail Grabovski, Travis Hamonic
Anders Lee-John Tavares-Josh Bailey
Andrew Ladd-Brock Nelson-Ryan Strome
Alan Quine-Anthony Beauvillier-Jason Chimera
Nikolay Kulemin-Casey Cizikas-Cal Clutterbuck
Nick Leddy-Adam Pelech
Thomas Hickey-Johnny Boychuk
Calvin de Haan-Dennis Seidenberg
Boston Bruins-23-18-5- 51 Points
Home Record: 10-10-0
Hot Players: Brad Marchand, Torey Krug, Patrice Bergeron
Key Injuries: Matt Beleskey, Colin Miller, Kevan Miller
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak
Frank Vatrano-David Krejci-David Backes
Tim Schaller-Ryan Spooner-Riley Nash
Anton Blidh-Dominic Moore-Austin Czarnik
Zdeno Chara-Brandon Carlo
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid
John-Michael Liles-Joe Morrow
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap] On Friday night, the Islanders’ John Tavares recorded his 500th NHL point in just his 550th game. He reached the career milestone by registering a hat trick against the Florida Panthers. Boston’s David Krejci also picked up his 500th career NHL point on Saturday against the Philadelphia Flyers. Krejci has now recorded 144 goals and 356 assists in 669 NHL contests for the Bruins.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap] After struggling offensively much of the season, Torey Krug has become the hottest player on the Bruins’ roster. Over the last 12 games, Krug has recorded 14 points to bring his season point total to 28. Boston has relied heavily on the young defenseman and will need him to keep his hot streak going to help Boston string together wins.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap] This past week, the injury bug has hit the Bruins’ blue line. Colin Miller has sat out the past two games with a lower-body injury, and Kevan Miller has been sidelined with a concussion after contact with Flyers’ forward Jakub Voracek on Saturday. All signs point to Joe Morrow suiting up for Boston against the Islanders for the first time since Dec. 12. Morrow has played a total of 13 games this season, registering one assist and a minus-3 rating.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap] The 2016-17 season has not gone as planned for the Islanders, but they have been playing better recently, posting a 5-3-2 record in their last 1o games. During the 10-game span, Tavares has posted nine points and currently leads the Islanders with 32 points on the year. New York will have to keep their recent momentum going against the Bruins if they hope to crawl back into the playoff picture.
In the last meeting between these two clubs, Boston dominated much of the game and recorded 50 shots on goal to the Islanders’ 20 shots. However, New York was able to jump out to an early 3-0 lead and ultimately captured a 4-2 victory. Boston has struggled in the opening minutes of games all season long, so the Islanders will be looking to jump out to another early lead to make the Bruins play from behind.
Overall, this should be a heated contest between two clubs that are desperate for wins. Boston is sitting in second place in the Atlantic Division, but their position is mostly due to them playing more games (46) than the other teams surrounding them. New York is sitting in last place in the Eastern Conference, but they have only played 41 games and are just 10 points out of a wild-card position and need to start stringing wins together if they hope to climb in the standings.
Anthony Pagliarulo is a Boston Bruins contributor for The Hockey Writers. He is a Massachusetts native and a Worcester State University alumni. You can follow Anthony on Twitter @APags87.