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Preview: Bruins look to bounce back against the Islanders in Game 5

The Bruins are back on home ice looking to regain momentum after the Islanders evened the second-round series and made this now a best-of-three.

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

Just the facts

When: Tonight, 6:30 PM

Where: TD Garden – Boston, MA

How to follow: NBCSN, TVAS, SN1, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Rival SBN site: Lighthouse Hockey

Know your enemy

  • Playoffs: Jean-Gabriel Pageau: 10GP, 3G, 7A, 10PTS; Anthony Beauvillier: 10GP, 4G, 5A, 9PTS; Josh Bailey: 10GP, 4G, 3A, 7PTS; Brock Nelson: 10GP, 3G, 4A, 7PTS; Kyle Palmieri: 10GP, 5G, 2A, 7PTS; Mathew Barzal: 10GP, 2G, 5A 7PTS
  • Semyon Varlamov: 2-3-0, 2.48 GAA, .929 save percentage
  • Regular season leaders: Mathew Barzal: 17G, 28A, 45PTS; Josh Bailey: 8G, 27A, 35PTS; Brock Nelson: 18G, 15A, 33PTS; Jordan Eberle: 16G, 17A, 33PTS

Game notes

  • The Boston Bruins are back at home for Game 5 against the New York Islanders in what is how a best-of-three, as the Isles evened the series at two games apiece on Saturday. This series has been back and forth, with each side splitting home wins and losses. If the other four games are any indication of what to expect tonight – ok minus Game 1 - it’s going to be another close match that’s likely to be decided in the third period.
  • Saturday’s loss was the Bruins’ first regulation loss this postseason. The final score was padded by two empty-netters, and some poor officiating throughout the game. Rask made 30 saves, 26 of those coming through on him on 5v5 play. The Bruins got 29 shots on Varlamov, but only 19 came on even-strength and three power plays only produced five shots. David Krejci gave the B’s the lead on a power play in the second, but it was short-lived as Palmieri tied things up minutes later. Barzal got the go-ahead and game-winner in the third and the two empty-net goals followed to give the Islanders the 4-1 victory.
  • Each game in the series has seen third-period surges from both teams. Game 1 was tied 2-2 heading into the third, but the Bruins scored three goals in the final frame to put the game away. The Bruins came back to force overtime in Game 2 with two late goals in the third despite ultimately dropping the game in extra minutes. Mat Barzal scored in the final six minutes of Game 3 to push his team to overtime, but the Bruins took this one in OT. And lastly, Barzal broke the 1-1 tie in Game 4 with seven minutes left which ended up giving the Isles the win and tied the second-round series.
  • The Bruins had their lowest shot total in Game 4 with 29 shots on net. In Games 1 to 3, the Bruins averaged 41 shots, outshooting the Islanders in those games. Game 4 was the first time the Islanders outshot the Bruins during the second round. The Islanders averaged 30 shots in the first three games before their 34 shots in Game 4.
  • Palmieri, Pageau and Barzal have been the biggest threats to the Bruins in these past four games. Each player has two goals against the B’s and three to four points apiece in the series.
  • The bottom six forwards have struggled in this series and it sounds like at least the third line will be shaken up tonight. They’ve produced a total of two assists and 29 total shots on net as the bottom top lines have accounted for 19% of the 152 SOG in the four games. Bruce Cassidy thought the fourth line did better creating chances in Game 4, but thought the third line had a hard time generating any momentum. He said he’s leaving the fourth line alone but will see what can be adjusted on the third by possibly throwing either Karson Kuhlman or Trent Frederic in the mix.
  • Although he didn’t travel, Kevan Miller has been skating back in Boston. Brandon Carlo, however, has not been on the ice. Their availability will be determined this morning, Cassidy said.

See ya tonight!