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Preview: Bruins open back-to-back against Islanders

The Bruins continue their homestand with the first of two games against the Isles.

NHL: MAR 25 Islanders at Bruins Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Just the Facts

When: Tonight, 7:00 PM

Where: TD Garden – Boston, MA

How to follow: NESN, SN360, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Rival SBN site: Lighthouse Hockey

Know Your Enemy

  • 27-11-4 for 58 points, second in East
  • Mathew Barzal: 42GP, 13G, 24A, 37PTS; Jordan Eberle: 42GP, 14G, 13A, 27PTS; Brock Nelson: 42GP, 15G, 10A, 25PTS; Josh Bailey: 42PTS, 6G, 19A, 25PTS; Nick Leddy: 42PTS, 1G, 24A, 25PTS
  • Semyon Varlamov: 16-8-3, 2.21 GAA, .922 save percentage

Game Notes

  • The Boston Bruins last faced the New York Islanders on March 25, dropping 4-3 in overtime. Karson Kuhlman and Steven Kampfer put the Bs up 2-0 in the first period. But the Islanders answered back with three straight goals, including one from Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who has at least a point in each game against the Bruins. Anders Bjork tied the game late in the third period, but Anthony Beauvillier scored 21 seconds into overtime to give the Islanders the win.
  • The Bruins have yet to see a regulation win against the Islanders this season. In five games, they are 0-3-2 facing the Isles. Three of the games have been separated by one goal. The largest deficit was a five-goal loss on February 25. The Bruins have only played the Islanders once at home so far.
  • Tonight will be the opener of the Bruins’ fifth of seven back-to-back series. It’s also their only home back-to-back this season. The Bruins are 3-4-1 in the four previous back-to-back series’ games.
  • The Islanders are 5-1 in their last six games and have been in and out of first in the East with the Washington Capitals. Besides recently adding Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac, the Islanders also acquired defenseman Braydon Coburn from the Ottawa Senators. He’ll be available for tonight’s game.
  • Taylor Hall, Curtis Lazar and Mike Reilly made their debuts last game, days after being acquired by the Bruins. Hall seemed to build confidence as the night went on and had some big moments in overtime. Reilly read offensive situations and ended with five SOG. Lazar brought physicality and drive to the fourth line.
  • Bruce Cassidy liked what he saw from the three against the Buffalo Sabres and said he’d be comfortable leaving them where they are again tonight. With the first game out of the way, I think this game will be the true test to see how impactful they will be moving forward.
  • After missing four games, Charlie McAvoy jumped back into the lineup and didn’t miss a beat. He logged the most minutes last game at 25:04 and had two shots on net. He’s averaged the most time on ice for the Bruins at 24:24 minutes. In the East, he’s in the fourth spot for highest TOI.
  • Kevan Miller didn’t skate in practice yesterday, but Cassidy said he will play. Trent Frederic could also be back in the lineup (depending on how he feels). He’s been skating and getting reps in, as he’s been out with a non-COVID related illness.
  • Cassidy said Tuukka Rask should be ready to go tonight, as long as there are no setbacks. Rask last played on March 25, the last time the Islanders were in town, but left after the first period as he triggered a nagging back injury. His last full game was March 7 in which he made 25 saves in the team’s 1-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils. Rask had injured himself at the end of that game.

See ya tonight!