After convincing wins at home against Ottawa and in Toronto, the Bruins return home tonight to face the New York Islanders, their roommates in the Eastern Conference cellar. With a win tonight, the Bs could jump up to as high as a 12th place tie.
Everyone knows the Bruins have been much better in their past two games, and with a little momentum going this is a huge game. The Bruins have their next five games at home, including games with Edmonton and Columbus which the Bruins have to think they should win. It would be a big letdown if the Bruins don't come out with a win tonight, to say the least.
According to the Bruins' Twitter feed, Tuukka Rask will get the start in net tonight. Rask is 0-3 on the season, but the Bruins have only scored three total goals in those three games. The lack of offensive support for Rask has been a glaring issue since last season. Forward Rich Peverley will be out tonight with a "minor injury," so Benoit Pouliot will get back in the lineup on the third line.
The Islanders enter the game with a 4-5-2 record, tied with the Bruins in last place in the East. The Isles are 1-2-2 in their last five, but stunned the Capitals in their last game with a 5-3 victory. New York has some good young talent, including former Hab Mark Streit on defense and former No. 1 pick John Tavares centering their top line. Forward Michael Grabner is known for his dangerous speed, especially on the penalty kill.
Evgeni Nabokov will start in net for the Islanders for the first time since October 27. Nabokov was listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. After signing Nabokov from re-entry waivers when Nabokov decided to return to the NHL, Nabokov refused to play for the team. But he relented over the summer, and has a 2.23 GAA and a .927 SV%, showing that he still has the talent to play at an NHL level. It should be interesting to see if the Bruins can get to him early.
The Bruins can really start rolling and climbing up the standings with a win tonight against a team that they know they should beat. The Bruins haven't done so well in games like that this season, so hopefully they break that trend and break another one by scoring some goals for Rask and getting the heck out of the basement.
Public Skate starts at 6:30 tonight. The game will be on VS, so no Jack and Brick tonight.
SB Nation Islanders Blog: Lighthouse Hockey
Islanders @ Bruins, 7:00 EST TV: VS