Bruins look to clinch third place tonight, lineups against Islanders

Apr 16, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins right wing Chris Wagner (14) shoots the puck while New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield (24) defends during the second period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 16, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins right wing Chris Wagner (14) shoots the puck while New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield (24) defends during the second period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /
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Tonight, the Boston Bruins play the first of their two last games of the 2021 56-game season as they take on the New York Islanders for the last time this season. While the B’s have already punched their ticket into the postseason, this game still holds significant value as win tonight will clinch third place in the East for Boston as well as decide their first-round opponent.

This season, the Black and Gold struggled against the Isles at first. They couldn’t find ways to score and, at times, struggled to contain the Islanders’ offense. Boston dropped the first five games against the Isles, securing just two out of the possible 10 points.

However, the last two games have been a much different story. With the acquisitions of Taylor Hall and Mike Reilly, the B’s offense has been a problem for the Islanders as they’ve scored at least three goals in each game. And, without captain Anders Lee, the Isles have struggled to get through  Boston’s defense.

The Black and Gold will look to continue their recent success against the Isles tonight. This game still holds significant value and will ultimately decide whether the B’s play the Washington Capitals or Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the playoffs.

Boston Bruins vs New York Islanders projected lineups.

Boston Bruins
Record: 32-15-7 (71 points)

The B’s will still be without now right wing Charlie Coyle tonight. However, right wing Ondrej Kase will finally make his return to the lineup tonight after missing 52 games with an upper-body injury. Additionally, wingers Trent Frederic and Karson Kuhlman will come out of the lineup and Chris Wagner will play tonight.

Tuukka Rask will start tonight. Jeremy Swayman will be backing up and will most likely start tomorrow against the Capitals.

Expect the Bruins to look like this tonight:

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak
Hall – Krejci – Smith
Ritchie – Kuraly – Wagner
DeBrusk – Lazar – Kase

Grzelcyk – McAvoy
Reilly – Carlo
Lauzon – Clifton

Rask (Swayman)

New York Islanders
Record: 32-17-6 (70 points)

Without captain Anders Lee, the Islanders will have veteran Leo Komarov in his place on their first line. While Komarov isn’t average first liner, he’s done a decent job there when asked to play in that role.

Semyon Varlamov will be in net while Ilya Sorokin backs up.

Expect the Islanders to look like this tonight:

Komarov – Barzal – Eberle
Beauvillier – Nelson – Bailey
Palmieri – Pageau – Wahlstrom
Martin – Cizikas – Zajac

Pelech – Pulock
Leddy – Mayfield
Greene – Dobson

Varlamov (Sorokin)

Where and when to watch Boston Bruins vs New York Islanders.

Time: 7 PM EST

Location: TD Garden

TV Broadcast: NESNplus, MSG+, NBCSN, SNE, SNO

Radio Broadcast: 98.5 The Sports Hub

Must Read. May 10 Bruins History: What Happened 51 Years Ago?. light

As mentioned earlier, this game actually holds significant value as it will determine the first-round opponent for both teams. However, I’m sure for most fans it doesn’t actually matter to them who the B’s play. The Caps and Pens are very similar teams.