Isles Playoff-Push Continues Tonight In Boston

The New York Islanders will take on the Boston Bruins at 7pm at the TD Garden in Boston. The Islanders (20-16-4) are looking to continue their success in the most serious playoff push the team has had in years, going 7-1-1 in their last 9 games.

Despite their recent point streak that has carried the Isles into the top 8 in the East, the Bruins (26-9-4) have been no walk in the park for the New York club this season. The Northeast Division leaders have won both meetings between the two this season and have outscored the Isles 8-3.

The Islanders have undoubtedly struggled against the Bruins in recent years. But who’s to say that this team can’t pull one out of a hat with the way they’ve been playing lately?

On Tuesday night, the Islanders were able to pull off a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers at the Coliseum. It was another game where the Islanders were scored on early, but responded appropriately and stayed in the game until the very end. For more, feel free to check out my post-game report of Tuesday night's game.

A win tonight could be pivotal for the Isles, who next face the New York Rangers on Saturday. The two New York foes are currently in a 3-way tie for 6th place in the East with the Ottawa Senators.

The Boston Bruins will play back-to-back games, as they come in tonight off of a huge win over the New Jersey Devils last night. The NHL’s best penalty killing unit was in full gear, as the Bruins killed all 8 New Jersey power-plays and held off the extra attacker at the end for a 5-4 victory, moving them in front of the Montreal Canadiens for 1st place in the Northeast.

The Bruins are in no mood to mess around this season, as they acquired Jaromir Jagr from the Dallas Stars at the trade deadline. The 41-year old winger is the most productive European to play in the NHL and arguably one of the best to ever play the game. Jagr already has 5 points in 4 games with the Bruins, but has scored 15 goals and 31 points total for this season playing for the Dallas Stars.

However, Boston will be without star-center Patrice Bergeron and, according to reports, winger Brad Marchand. Marchand was elbowed in the head during the second period last night in New Jersey by Anton Volchenkov. Marchand did not return to the game and it is unlikely that he will be in the lineup for tonight.

The Isles will give the nod to Evgeni Nabakov tonight, as the 37-year old net minder has allowed two or fewer goals in 5 straight starts. The Bruins will likely start Tuukka Rask, as their backup Anton Khudobin started against New Jersey last night.

The puck drops tonight at the TD Garden at 7pm tonight.

Let’s Go Islanders! 

 

-T.J. Weber

Follow me on Twitter (@teejayweejay) and make sure to "like" The Checking Line-Isles Edition on Facebook as well as on Twitter (@TCLIsles) to stay up to the minute with all the latest team news and notes.