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PREVIEW: Bruins head to Brooklyn, face off against New York Islanders

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New year, same goal - get a win.

NHL: Boston Bruins at Washington Capitals
David Backes has rebounded from illness/injury into fine form - perhaps the finest since coming to Boston.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Just The Facts:

What: The Boston Bruins (21-10-6, 48pts, 2nd in Atlantic) head to New York to take on the New York Islanders (20-15-4, 44pts, 5th in Metropolitan).

When: 7:00 PM ET

Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NYC

Where to watch: NESN, SN, MSG+

Where to listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub

Preview

With the New Year officially underway - and, hopefully, the hangovers behind us - it’s time for the Bruins to pick up where they left off in 2017. After a bit of an injury-riddled fall, most players are now healthy and the team’s recent brush with illness has come and gone. Peter Cehlarik was returned to Providence, now that he presumably is nearing the end of his own injury recovery, and other young players have earned the right to stay. Boston had just two losses in regulation in the month of December, and four losses total. The team’s play has vaulted them from the middle of the Atlantic division to a points-wise tie for second, with their games in hand giving them the spot for themselves over Toronto for now.

The Islanders, meanwhile, trudged through December with just five wins, three of which took extra time. Their latest loss came at the hands of Colorado, currently occupying last in the Central division, and the Islanders allow about as many goals as they score; while their top line is near the top of point-related categories league-wide, the team’s depth leaves much to be desired. Their youth movement isn’t having quite the same results as Boston, and they’ve moved a few players to the AHL recently to make way for rookie defenseman Sebastian Aho, who made his season debut on New Year’s Eve. Their goaltending has been below average, with starter Jaroslav Halak allowing well over three goals per game and saving barely more than 90% of shots.

Players to Watch

  • The Islanders’ top line of Josh Bailey, John Tavares, and Anders Lee are DANGEROUS. Fortunately, we have multiple-Selke-winner Patrice Bergeron to cover them.
  • Will we see Anton Khudobin in net? Rask has played a fair amount of late, so perhaps it’s Dobby’s turn.
  • Ryan Spooner has gone off lately, with a multI-goal game in their against Ottawa. Look for him to continue to build on his trade value his current run of strong play.
  • David Krejci returned, but given his recent injury issues, let’s hope its a permanent stay in the lineup. We’re not holding our breath and will be watching his ice time.

NEVER 4GET;

The emergence of scoring wizard Riley Nash. We all saw it coming.