The Boston Bruins enjoyed a successful homestand, winning two out of three games, despite losing at TD Garden in regulation for the first time. After dropping a 3-0 contest to the Seattle Kraken, they edged out a competitive Toronto Maple Leafs team (4-3) before dispatching the Philadelphia Flyers 6-0 on a Monday matinee.
Now the league’s best team, 34-5-4, is on the road in New York, visiting the Islanders and Rangers on back-to-back nights. Furthermore, both teams will give the B’s their best efforts since both are battling for playoff spots in the Metropolitan Division.
Today’s Bruins Game Notes
Last Thursday, the Bruins were shut out for the first time in 2022-23 and responded with one of their best efforts against a team chasing them for the division title. However, riding the momentum from an emotional win in a marquee Saturday night contest, they honored David Krejci for skating in his 1,000th NHL game on Monday by destroying the Philadelphia Flyers.
Moreover, the B’s are on a two-game win streak and are 7-1-2 in their last ten games, outscoring opponents 36-20. They continue to pace the league with a plus-72 goal differential. Meanwhile, their opponent tonight, the Islanders, are 4-4-2 in their last ten games (three straight losses), getting outscored 26-24 in those games.
Overall, the Islanders rank 16th in the standings with a 23-18-4 record and a plus-12 goal differential. Nevertheless, they are currently outside the playoff picture based on winning percentage, despite being tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins with 50 points. Additionally, the Bruins have the 8th-best road record, 13-4-1, while the Isles have the 9th-best home record, 13-7-2.
Bruins & Islanders Players to Watch
Tonight’s game will be the second matchup this season, with the Bruins escaping with a 4-3 shootout win back on Dec. 13, 2022. Unfortunately, the boys will be short the hero from that game since Jake DeBrusk is out with a lower-body injury. In the previous game, he had two goals in regulation and completed an unofficial hat trick with a goal in the shootout. Furthermore, the only other player to get on the scoreboard was Derek Forbort, who potted a shorthanded goal, while David Pastrnak got the shootout winner.
In his last five contests, Brad Marchand has scored three goals and collected four assists for seven points. He enjoys playing against the Islanders with a stat line that reads 14 goals, 22 assists, and 36 points in 42 games. Although a handful of teammates, like Pastrnak, have better stat lines against the long-island team, Marchand continues to tear it up. Additionally, despite missing the start of the season, he’s now the team’s second-leading scorer with 40 points in 35 games.
On the other side, Mathew Barzal leads the Islanders in scoring, thanks to 41 points in 44 games. Also, he’s got 11 goals which are second behind All-Star Brock Nelson and captain Anders Lee. Barzal has been extremely quiet in his last five games with just a single point, meaning he’ll be hungry to get back on the scoresheet against a powerhouse team like the Bruins. Historically, he’s enjoyed some success against the B’s with 16 points in 20 career games.
Bruins & Islanders Historical Notes
Wednesday night will mark the 185th meeting between the Bruins and Islanders, with the black and gold holding a pretty comfortable lead in the series, 97-59-21-7. In the last 12 meetings between the two clubs, the Bruins are 5-7, winning the previous two meetings after going 1-2 in 2021-22 and 3-5 in 2020-21.
Historically, Boston has yet to win at the new UBS Arena (2022), going 0-2, with just two goals scored. Interestingly, these numbers are the polar opposite of visits to the Islanders’ former home, the Barclays Center, where they went a perfect 6-0, and Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, where they went 39-33-10-3 in 85 games.
Who’s Next for the Boston Bruins
The Bruins will only have a little time to rest after tonight’s game before hitting the ice again tomorrow night in Manhattan against the New York Rangers. Despite the 24-hour turnaround, the two games are played in arenas just 51 minutes apart.