The Boston Bruins are hoping to begin the New Year just as they finished 2017 — winning on a consistent basis.
The B’s solidified their standing as a likely playoff team in the Eastern Conference by going 10-2-2 in December, which has put them in a tie with the Toronto Maple Leafs for second place in the Atlantic Division entering Tuesday night’s matchup against the New York Islanders at Barclays Center.
The Islanders have a high-powered offense that ranks third in goals scored per game and is led by captain and No. 1 center John Tavares.
But the team’s secondary options are solid as well. Jordan Eberle is a proven goal scorer, while Matthew Barzal is enjoying a fine rookie season. Josh Bailey was named the NHL’s Second Star of December on Tuesday after posting 22 points in 15 games.
The No. 1 star of the month was Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask, who went 9-0-1 with a .955 save percentage in December. He’s expected to be back between the pipes Tuesday night.
Here are the projected lineups for both teams.
BOSTON BRUINS (21-10-6)
Brad Marchand–Patrice Bergeron–David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk–David Krejci–Ryan Spooner
Danton Heinen–Riley Nash–David Backes
Tim Schaller–Sean Kuraly–Noel Acciari
Zdeno Chara–Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug–Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk–Kevan Miller
NEW YORK ISLANDERS (20-15-4)
Anders Lee–John Tavares–Josh Bailey
Andrew Ladd–Matthew Barzal–Jordan Eberle
Shane Prince–Brock Nelson–Tanner Fritz
Jason Chimera–Casey Cizikas–Cal Clutterbuck
Nick Leddy–Adam Pelech
Thomas Hickey–Scott Mayfield
Sebastian Aho–Ryan Pulock
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images