Bruins Back in Boston to Take on Improved Islanders

2,685

Bruins Back in Boston to Take on Improved Islanders The Bruins welcome the Islanders to the TD Garden for the second time this season as both teams try to bounce back from tough losses.

The Bruins enter Monday’s game on the heels of a heart-wrenching 6-5 overtime loss to the Penguins in which they relinquished the lead with 0.4 left in regulation and then lost the game 1:24 into the extra frame.

The Islanders, meanwhile, blew a two-goal lead then came back from a two-goal deficit, but ended up losing 5-4 to the Panthers in the shootout.

Needless to say, the two teams who are hovering around the bottom half of the eight playoff seeds in the Eastern Conference will look to gain two points.

When And Where

Monday, Nov. 16, 7 p.m. (NESN)
TD Garden, Boston, Mass.

Records

Bruins (8-7-4, 20 points), second place in Northeast Division, tied for eighth place in Eastern Conference
Islanders (7-6-7, 21 points), tied for fourth in Atlantic Division, tied for sixth in Eastern Conference

Head to Head

The Bruins are 1-0-0 against the Islanders after a 4-3 shootout win at the TD Garden on Oct. 10. The two teams play each other twice more this season with both games on Long Island at Nassau Coliseum. The Bruins play there on Dec. 12 and then again on March 6.

Last season, the Bruins were 4-0-0 against the Islanders.

The Bruins lead the all-time series 68-45-21-3.

Skinny

For the last two weeks, media and fans have clamored for more scoring from the Bruins, despite the fact that their goaltending has been superb and their team defense — specifically the penalty kill — was stingy as can be. Well, the scoring finally came in the 6-5 overtime loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday night, but the team defense disappeared as the Bruins allowed too many odd-man rushes and chances for the Penguins.

"It was nice to see our offense create some goals, but at the same time, it was one of those games that happens every once in a while, where we just, in one game, make a lot of mistakes defensively that kept it a high-scoring game,” said head coach Claude Julien.

The Islanders, a young team, are still learning how to deal with leads and realize they need to buckle down, no matter how big a lead they may have.

''Sometimes when you get a lead like that, you get a little lackadaisical,'' rookie sensation John Tavares told NHL.com after the Islanders' letdown against Florida on Saturday. ''You have to bear down and be sharper.''

The Bruins embark on a four-game road trip after this game. They play Ilya Kovalchuk and the upstart Thrashers on Thursday in Atlanta, at Buffalo on Friday, at St. Louis on Nov. 23 and at Minnesota on Nov. 25.

Projected Lineups

Bruins
Forwards
Marco Sturm–Patrice Bergeron–Mark Recchi
Blake Wheeler–David Krejci–Michael Ryder
Daniel Paille–Vladimir Sobotka–Brad Marchand
Shawn Thornton–Steve Begin–Byron Bitz

Defensemen
Zdeno Chara–Derek Morris
Matt Hunwick–Dennis Wideman
Mark Stuart–Andrew Ference

Goaltenders
Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask

Islanders
Forwards

Matt Moulson–John Tavares–Richard Park.
Sean Bergenheim–Frans Nielsen–Kyle Okposo
Jon Sim–Josh Bailey–Trent Hunter
Blake Comeau–Nate Thompson–Tim Jackman

Defense
Mark Streit–Bruno Gervais
Brendan Witt–Andy Sutton
Jack Hillen–Freddy Meyer

Goalies
Dwayne Roloson
Martin Biron

Goaltender Matchup

Bruins  
Tim Thomas
is 5-6-3 with a 2.33 GAA and .918 save percentage.

Tuukka Rask is 3-1-1 with a 2.33 GAA and .919 save percentage. Rask has one shutout this season.

Islanders
Dwayne Roloson
is 5-5 with a 2.93 GAA and .911 save percentage

Martin Biron is 2-5-2 with a 2.83 GAA and .913 save percentage

Stat Sheet

Bruins
Forward Patrice Bergeron had another assist in Pittsburgh on Saturday and leads the team in goals with six and points with 13.

Defensemen Derek Morris (two goals, nine assists) and Zdeno Chara (one goal, 10 assists) are tied for second in team scoring and lead the defense in assists and in points. Chara leads the team in assists. Chara had two helpers and Morris had a goal and an assist on Saturday.

Forward Blake Wheeler (five goals, five assists) had a goal and an assist against Pittsburgh on Saturday and is now third on the team in scoring with 10 points.

Forward Marco Sturm lit the lamp Saturday and now has four goals, with two in his last four games. He has nine points this season and is tied with Steve Begin (two goals, seven assists) for fourth in team scoring.

Forward David Krejci broke a six-game scoreless streak with a goal and an assist and now has seven points with two goals and five assists.  

Forward Mark Recchi, who got his 900th assist Tuesday, had another two helpers on Saturday and now has five assists and three goals this season.

The Bruins have been outscored 45-44 this season. They are averaging 2.32 goals per game and 2.37 goals against.

The Bruins went 1-for-4 on the power play on Saturday and are now 3-for-11 in their last three games. Boston is 9-for-66 on the power play this season with a 13.6 percent success rate.

The Bruins' penalty kill continued its amazing success on Saturday night, killing off three Pittsburgh power plays. Boston has now killed off 20 straight and 34 of the last 35 power plays it has faced. The B's have only allowed 11 power play goals on 67 power plays faced, good for an 83.6 percent success rate.

The Bruins are 6-4-2 at home this season.

The Bruins are 3-2-2 against the Atlantic Division.

The Bruins are 5-3-4 against the Eastern Conference this season.

Islanders
Rookie John Tavares, who was taken first overall at the 2009 NHL draft, has seven points in his last four games and leads the team in points (18) and assists (10) and is tied for the team lead in goals with eight.

Matt Moulson is tied with Taveres, his linemate, in goals (eight) and is second on the team in scoring with 16 points. Moulson has five points in his last four games.

Forward Kyle Okposo (five goals, eight assists) has 13 points. Okposo has three points in his last two games.

Defenseman Mark Streit (four goals, seven assists) has five points in his last four games and 11 points this season. He leads the Islanders defense in points, goals and assists.

The Islanders have been outscored 59-55. They’re averaging 2.75 goals per game and allowing 2.95 goals against.

The Islanders power play is 16-for-71 with a 22.5 percent success rate.

The Islanders have allowed 16 power play goals on 77 power plays against them for a 79.2 success rate. The Isles' penalty kill unit has scored two shorthanded goals.

The Islanders are 2-4-5 on the road this season.

The Islanders are 1-3-3 against the Northeast division.

The Islanders are 6-4-7 against the Eastern Conference.

Black and Blue

Bruins
Forward Marc Savard is expected to miss 2-3 more weeks and should have his protective boot removed from his broken left foot next week.

Forward Milan Lucic remains on injured reserve with a broken right index finger but practiced with the team for the first time Thursday and is eyeing a Nov. 19 return.

Islanders
Former Bruins forward Jeremy Reich is on injured reserve and is expected to miss 4-6 more weeks with a broken left arm.

Forward Doug Weight is on injured reserve with an upper-body injury. He is expected to remain out for 4-6 weeks.

Defenseman Radek Martinek is out for the season with a torn right ACL.

Goaltender Rick DiPietro remains on injured reserve following knee surgery but is getting closer to returning.

This Date in Bruins History

On Nov. 16, 1926, Eddie Shore scores his first NHL goal.

Nov. 16, 1941, the Bruins are presented with their gold Stanley Cup medals and the 1940-41 Stanley Cup banner is raised in a pregame ceremony.

On Nov. 16, 1989, the Bruins score three goals in the final three minutes of the game to beat Montreal 3-2.

Overheard

"You don't want to make a mountain out of a molehill. It's important for us to understand that we have a big week ahead of us. We made our correction. We did what we had to do here [Sunday] morning, but we need to move forward here."
Claude Julien on how the Bruins need to move forward from an uncharacteristically poor defensive game

Press Box

Bruins
The Blake Wheeler-David Krejci-Michael Ryder line seems to be clicking again.

Are the Bruins and Marc Savard close on a new contract?

The Bruins had a light practice day on Sunday.

Islanders
Islanders forward Matt Moulson doesn't take anything for granted.

Top draft pick John Tavares is living up to the hype.

Are the Isles looking to deal former Sabres goaltender Martin Biron back to Buffalo?

NHL
Jeremy Roenick is not happy with the current state of the NHLPA.

Is Jacques Lemaire the leading candidate for the Jack Adams Award so far this season?

Kings forward Anze Kopitar is having a breakout year.

Outlook

So far the Bruins have shown a knack to bounce back and be resilient this season, and that will be tested greatly in this game and on their upcoming four-game road trip. The Bruins appeared to be finally rounding out their game in Pittsburgh. With their team defense in top form entering the game, the offense exploded for five goals, battling back from one-goal deficits four times. But the defense dwindled, and with a bad break, a come-from-behind night turned into a blown lead in a hurry.

Now the question is: Can the Bruins recover from what has been their toughest loss this season? While on paper, the young and inexperienced Islanders look like a perfect place to start that recovery, the scrappy, young, hungry and skilled Islanders are no pushovers this season as they showed in a 4-3 shootout loss in Boston on Oct. 10.

The Bruins need to just go back to basics and put the last game behind them. Of course, that’s easier said than done, but if Boston reverts back to their system that’s built on team defense, they should be able to contain the talented youngsters like John Taveres, Kyle Okposo and the surprising Matt Moulson. They must also stay out of the box and limit the chances of power-play specialist Mark Streit.

This is a good chance for the Bruins to bounce right back and put the Penguins game behind them before they head out on the road.

TMZ logo

© 2017 NESN