Here’s your Boston Hockey Now Boston Bruins Game Day Preview:
Boston Bruins (40-19-5, 83 pts) vs New York Islanders (28-25-9, 65 pts)
TIME: 12:30 PM ET
TV: NESN, MSG+, NHL Network, TVAS
The Boston Bruins welcome the New York Islanders to town for a matinee in the second game of a five-game homestand. The Bruins come in off one of, if not the most thrilling games of the season and a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday. The Bruins are riding a three-game win streak and are now 8-2-1 since March 1 and 26-9-3 since Jan. 1.
The Islanders come in off a 5-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings Thursday and are riding a two-game win streak. The Islanders are 8-4-1 in the month of March.
Linus Ullmark gets the nod between the pipes for the Boston Bruins. Ullmark is 19-9-2 with a 2.72 GAA and .909 save percentage.
Betting: The Boston Bruins are heavy favorites (-180), with not much value on the money line but do give some value on the puck line (-1.5) at +135. However, this stinks of a trap game. After an emotional 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday and with a big tilt with the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Garden on Tuesday, the boring Islanders could rock the Bruins right to sleep in an early matinee game. That being said this Bruins team continues to surprise and impress. They have a good vibe going so even in perfect trap game, they should at least take it to overtime. Take the Draw at +320.
Prediction: Bruins 3 Islanders 2 (OT)
Boston Bruins Notes
-The Boston Bruins are hoping to have captain Patrice Bergeron back in the lineup. After surgery for an infection on his arm recently, and then returning to practice on Wednesday, Bergeron was expected to play Thursday but did not get the green light from the team medical staff. He was however, skating with his teammates at practice on Friday.
“I believe he’ll be cleared. I believed that Thursday. But this time it looks like it’s more positive,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said after practice Friday. “Obviously, we’re hoping he will be in. Jack [Studnicka] would be out in that case. [Saturday] morning he’ll show up – I don’t know the details, but as long as it looks good, he’s in.”
-Newly acquired defenseman Hampus Lindholm made his Bruins debut Thursday and has been getting rave reviews after earning an assist with four shots in 23:26 TOI.
“I think he was, actually, maybe a better puck mover in small areas than I anticipated,” Cassidy said following the win Thursday. “Thinking more about the size and mobility, ability to close plays, get his shot through on the offensive blue line – but he made a lot of small-area plays on the breakout that is going to benefit this hockey club. The skate moves where he puts someone on his hip, strong enough to separate and hold onto a puck and bring another forechecker to him then bump it into the middle…he led some really nice breakouts tonight, did a real good job with that.”
New York Islanders Notes
-Islanders forward Brock Nelson leads the team in goals (29) and in points with 44.
-The guy the Boston Bruins could’ve chosen in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft instead of Jake DeBrusk, who wants to be traded, or Zach Senyshyn who asked out and was traded, leads the Islanders with 30 assists.
Boston Bruins Lines:
Brad Marchand – Patrice Begeron/Jack Studnicka– Jake DeBrusk
Taylor Hall – Erik Haula – David Pastrnak
Trent Frederic – Charlie Coyle – Craig Smith
Nick Foligno-Tomas Nosek-Curtis Lazar
Hampus Lindholm – Charlie McAvoy
Matt Grzelcyk – Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort – Connor Clifton
New York Islanders Lines:
Andrers Lee – Brock Nelson – Anthony Beauvillier
Josh Bailey – Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Kyle Palmieri
Zach Parise – Mathew Barzal – Oliver Wahlstrom
Matt Martin – Casey Cizikas – Kieffer Bellows
Adam Pelech – Ryan Pulock
Zdeno Chara – Noah Dobson
Andy Greene – Sebastian Aho