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Preview: Bruins host the Islanders, welcome fans back for first time this season

The Bruins are finally set to play in front of the Boston faithful again!

Boston Bruins v New York Islanders Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Just the facts

When: Tonight, 7 PM

Where: TD Garden – Boston, MA

How to follow: NESN, NHLN, SN, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Rival SBN site: Lighthouse Hockey

Know your enemy

  • 21-8-4 for 46 points, 1st in East
  • Mathew Barzal: 33GP, 9G, 16A, 25PTS; Nick Leddy: 33GP, 1G, 20A, 21PTS; Jordan Eberle: 33GP, 10G, 10A, 20PTS; Jean-Gabriel Pageau: 32GP, 10G, 10A, 20PTS
  • Semyon Varlamov: 13-6-3, 2.17 GAA, .923 save percentage

Game Notes

  • After an unplanned week off, the Boston Bruins are back in action tonight, as the Bruins last two games were postponed due to COVID protocols. It’s been a week of uncertainty surrounding the status of the five players on the protocols list and how the team will adjust if any aren’t cleared for the game. Test results allowed the Bruins to return to the ice yesterday for a late 7 pm practice.
  • David Krejci, David Pastrnak and Craig Smith have been removed from the COVID protocols list. Sean Kuraly and Jake DeBrusk remain on it as of last night.
  • The Bruins will welcome back fans to the TD Garden tonight with a 12% seating capacity. It’s the first time in the city since the pandemic started that fans will be in attendance for any professional Boston sports team.
  • The Bruins last saw the New York Islanders on March 9. In the meeting, the Bruins fell to the Isles, 2-1, in a shootout. Pastrnak scored a power-play goal to end the first period. The Islanders netted their own goal on the power-play, as Brock Nelson tied the game late in the second period. In the shootout, Pastrnak netted the lone goal against Semyon Varlamov. Jordan Eberle and Anthony Beauvillier came through for the Islanders against Jaroslav Halak, to get the extra point.
  • Tonight will be the Bruins first game of the season against the Islanders in Boston. In the first four games on the road against the Islanders, the Bruins were 0-3-1. Varlamov started for the Islanders all four games and shut the Bs out once.
  • The Bs have only scored five goals on the Islanders this season. Out of those five, three of them were from the Bs top line. In the four games, Pastrnak and Brad Marchand each have one goal and two assists and Patrice Bergeron has registered one goal and one assist.
  • BUT, four of the collective five goals have been 5v5. Lately, the Bruins special teams have found the back of the net more than on even strength, but against the Islanders, the opposite has been the case. The Bruins are 1/9 on the power play against the Islanders so far this season.
  • For the Isles, Pageau has registered at least one point against the Bruins in each of the match-ups. He has four goals and one assist, including a shorthanded goal.

See ya tonight!