Game 4 Preview: Boston Bruins vs. New York Islanders

Bruce Bennett

The Islanders are headed to TD Garden....wait, hold on....is that Rick DiPietro's music???

Just the facts

Game time: 7:00 PM EST on New England Sports Network (NESN); 98.5 The Sports Hub for radio

Rival SB Nation site: Lighthouse Hockey

Records: Bruins (2-0-1) vs Islanders (2-1-0...first in the Atlantic, you guys!)

Projected Islanders lines:

Moulson Tavares Okposo
Grabner Neilsen Boyes
Ullstrom Aucoin McDonald
Martin Cizikas Reasoner(Boulton)

Hamonic MacDonald
Streit Strait (welp...)
Finley Carkner

DiPietro
Nabokov

Bruins lines:

Lucic Krejci Horton
Marchand Bergeron Seguin
Bourque Kelly Peverley
Thornton Campbell Paille

Chara Hamilton
Ference McQuaid
Boychuk Johnson

Rask
Khudobin

Preview

There's rumors floating about, and not about the Bruins. Rumors....that RIck DiPietro, former Boston University standout and starter of just 47 games in the last four NHL seasons combined.....will start tonight's game at the Garden. On the surface, it looks like a really cool homecoming story; the kid from Winthrop, who hasn't started an NHL game since December of 2011, getting his first nod in pretty much forever against his hometown team.

But that's just the surface.

DiPietro has played in 17 career games against the Bruins, and has lost 11 of those contests. He's given up 15 PPG to the Bruins in that time; yeah, okay, so it's been a while and the Bruins team has fundamentally changed (no more Savard) since then (you know it's been a long-ass time since he's played then, since this Bruins team has been pretty much the same for like two years now) but still.

Also: if it walks like Jesus and talks like Jesus it's probably actually RIck DiPietro. Seriously. Maybe he's trying to channel Jesus' saving power? Or something?

Elsewhere on the island...there's not much to speak of. Their top d-pair are named Streit and Strait, which is pretty funny/confusing. Joe Finley and Matt Carkner as an NHL d-pair is sort of laughable. Moulson-Tavares-Okposo will probably be tough to defend. Also I forgot Brad Boyes was an Islander until just now. Welp.

On the Bruins' side of things, everything looks good. Dennis Seidenberg will be a gametime decision, again, though the likelihood of him playing tonight seems higher than it did Wednesday; should he be available, he'll be paired with Dougie Hamilton, Johnny Boychuk will go back with Zdeno Chara, and Andrew Ference will remain with Adam McQuaid.

If the Bruins play the way they did on Wednesday - Lucic going hard to the net and parking himself in front, Dougie making smart plays (let's ignore the first 10 minutes of Wednesday's game) and the Bergeron line buzzing as it so often does, the team should be in good shape.

Verdict:

The Islanders are coming off a big upset victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. They could either carry their momentum into tonight, which with the addition of a goalie trying to impress his organization in his first start in over a year could mean an Islanders win....or the Bruins could roll them.

I'm going with the latter. Tonight could be the night the Bruins make quota for the first time this season.

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