National Hockey League
Preview
Boston at NY Islanders
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, January 29, 2015
Where: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York


A changing of the guard is taking place in the Eastern Conference and the New York Islanders are leading the charge. Fresh off another dominant victory over the archrival New York Rangers, the Islanders vie for their seventh win in eight games when they host the Boston Bruins on Thursday night. New York is tied with Anaheim for the league lead with 32 victories, matching a franchise record set in 1978-79 for the most wins in the first 47 games of the season.

One season removed from winning the Presidents' Trophy, the Bruins are holding down the eighth and final playoff slot in the East entering their first game after the All-Star break. Boston seemed to be finding its stride before the hiatus, going 6-1-1 and allowing a total of 12 goals in that span. “Rest is always a good thing," Bruins coach Claude Julien said after Wednesday's practice. “But I think at the same time it’s important that we regain that momentum we had just before the break."

TV: 7 p.m. ET, TVA, NESN (Boston), MSG Plus (New York)

ABOUT THE BRUINS (25-16-7): Keeping the momentum going figures to be a daunting task for Boston, given a five-game stretch that includes a pair of matchups against the Islanders as well as tough tests against reigning Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles and bitter rivals in the Rangers and Montreal Canadiens. “It’s definitely going to be tough matchups and big games,” center Patrice Bergeron said. “We need to refocus and be ready for the last stretch.” Bergeron is coming off an outstanding All-Star Game performance with one goal and four assists.

ABOUT THE ISLANDERS (32-14-1): Defenseman Johnny Boychuk was never much of an offensive threat during his tenure with Boston, amassing a high of 23 points in 75 games in 2013-14, but he has already eclipsed that mark in his first season with New York. Boychuk has collected a pair of assists in each of the last two games to establish career bests in points (24) and assists (20). Offense certainly has not been an issue for captain John Tavares, who has scored a goal in three straight contests and put on a show with four tallies in the All-Star Game.

OVERTIME

1. Tavares, riding a four-game point streak, has eight goals and 10 assists in 19 games versus Boston.

2. Bruins G Tuukka Rask has surrendered 12 goals during a 5-1-2 stretch.

3. Islanders G Jaroslav Halak is 8-3-0 with a pair of shutouts against the Bruins.

PREDICTION: Islanders 4, Bruins 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Boston 25-16-2-5 L1 15-7-2-2 10-9-0-3 2-1-1-2 23-15-1-3 9-5-1-2
NY Islanders 32-14-0-1 W2 17-4-0-0 15-10-0-1 2-2-0-0 30-12-0-1 16-2-0-0
Last Meeting
Boston NY Islanders
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
10/23/14 NYI 3 BOS 2 32 35 0-1 38 30 0-1
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Boston L. Eriksson 1
NY Islanders J. Bailey 1
Goals Player  
Boston C. Kelly 1
NY Islanders C. Clutterbuck 1
Assists Player  
Boston L. Eriksson 1
NY Islanders J. Bailey 1
Saves Player  
Boston N. Svedberg 35
NY Islanders C. Johnson 30
Season
Total Points Player  
Boston P. Bergeron 38
NY Islanders J. Tavares 48
Goals Player  
Boston P. Bergeron 15
NY Islanders J. Tavares 22
Assists Player  
Boston P. Bergeron 23
NY Islanders K. Okposo 31
Saves Player  
Boston T. Rask 1072
NY Islanders J. Halak 919
Quickchart Matchup
Boston Off vs  NY Islanders Def
2.58 GF
2.74 GA
30 Shots
27.3 Shots
20 PP
34 PK
NY Islanders Off vs  Boston Def
3.17 GF
2.42 GA
33.2 Shots
29.3 Shots
33 PP
27 PK