The Boston Bruins (27-16-4, 58 pts) will complete their two-game swing through the New York metro area Thursday when they take on the struggling New York Islanders (17-20-6, 40 pts) in their first game at UBS Arena. (7:30 PM ET, NESN, MSG+).
The Boston Bruins have played much better two-way hockey since being embarrassed at home by the Carolina Hurricanes in a 6-0 loss a week ago. The Bruins shut out the Ottawa Senators 2-0 last Saturday and this past Tuesday, they earned a well-deserved point in a 2-1 shootout loss to the New York Rangers. The B’s will get captain Patrice Bergeron back in the lineup after he missed the last three games with a head injury.
After two straight trips to the Eastern Conference Final, the Islanders have had a nightmare season. Whether it’s been COVID or injuries to key players, the Isles have just never got it going and now appear likely to miss the playoffs. They come into this game on a three-game losing streak and have been outscored 14-6 over that span.
Linus Ullmark will get the nod between the pipes for the Boston Bruins. Ullamark is 16-7-1 with a 2.78 GAA and .909 save percentage.
Ilya Sorokin is expected to start for the Islanders. Sorokin is 14-11-5 with a 2.51 GAA and a .919 save percentage.
Per our friends at BetUS, the Boston Bruins are actually slight underdogs in this game despite being 18 points ahead of the Islanders in the standings and getting captain Patrice Bergeron back. With the Islanders reeling and letting in plenty of goals, the Bruins should find the net more often than not.
That’s why our BetUs pick for the game here is the Boston Bruins REVERSE PUCK LINE or -1.5 at +265.
Prediction: Bruins 4 Islanders 1
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Boston Bruins Notes
-Bergeron will center Taylor Hall and David Pastrnak tonight with Brad Marchand still out of the lineup.
“Obviously, Pasta and Taylor do have that great speed on the wings,” said Bergeron. “I think it’s one of those things where you try to send them and create something out of nothing. Many times they like to have the puck on their stick…so for me, I think it’s more trying to get open, try to generate chances for them to get it…trying to read off of my wings as much as possible.”
-Defenseman Urho Vaakanainen will draw back into the lineup and Connor Clifton will watch from up top as a healthy scratch.
-Marchand will serve the fourth game of his suspension as he awaits word on his appeal of the six-game suspension he received last week.
New York Islanders Notes
Boston Bruins Lines:
Taylor Hall – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Trent Frederic – Charlie Coyle – Craig Smith
Jake DeBrusk – Erik Haula – Nick Foligno
Anton Blidh-Tomas Nosek-Curtis Lazar
Mike Reilly – Charlie McAvoy
Matt Grzelcyk – Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort – Urho Vaakanainen
New York Islanders Lines:
Anders Lee–Mathew Barzal–Kyle Palmieri
Kieffer Bellows–Brock Nelson-Anthony Beauvillier
Zach Parise-Jean-Gabriel Pageau- Oliver Wahlstrom
Matt Martin–Casey Cizikas–Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech–Scott Mayfield
Zdeno Chara–Noah Dobson
Sebastian Aho-Ryan Pulock