vent: Boston Bruins vs. New York Islanders
Date/Time: Monday, November 7, 2011 - 7 p.m. EDT.
Location: TD Garden (Capacity: 17,565), Boston, MA.
Broadcast Info: Tuesday's game between the Bruins and Islanders will be broadcast live on NESN, as well as VERSUS, RIS, NHLN-CA, and TSN2. The game can also be heard on the 98.5 the Sports Hub Radio Network, with Dave Goucher providing play-by-play, and Bob Beers providing analysis.
Last Time Out: They did what many thought wouldn’t happen this year--they strung together back-to-back wins against some talented Canadian teams. The Bruins finished their first win against the Ottawa Senators who had won six games in a row before falling to the B’s. Toronto came next and they too, were on a winning streak, winning four of their previous five. However, Tyler Seguin’s first NHL career hat trick helped give the Bruins another 7-0 ousting of the Leafs, and helped boost the confidence of a team that looked like it finally landed its feet on the ground.
Milan Lucic also netted two goals that game, and added an assist. Patrice Bergeron helped on all of Seguin’s goals, and for the second time in as many games, the Bruins seem to be back on track. But, as Claude Julien mentioned, it will be all about how they come out of that game. It was a blowout of sorts, and he still expects to see the same work ethic they came out of the gate with. The B’s are playing in tonight’s game with just the one day of rest, and it’s against an Islanders team that is tied for last place with the former Cup Champions.
Storyline: Yes, you read that correctly before--the Bruins and the Islanders are both tagged with last place honors in the Eastern Conference, both with only 10 points.
However, New York is coming off an equally as important win for its team. They took it to the Washington Capitals on Saturday, earning a much needed 5-3 win and ending their six-game losing streak.
With both teams running on a winning high, it will be interesting to see who is able to control that energy and utilize it tonight. The Bruins should have the advantage with the home crowd behind them. No doubt Seguin will be applauded vehemently when he takes the ice, and with the way the Bruins have been playing, there shouldn’t be too many road blocks for them.
One of the biggest challenges for the Black and Gold tonight will be playing in front of netminder Tuukka Rask. Rask has been at the wrong end of many games for the Bruins who seem to falter on offense when he’s between the pipes. Rask has a .906 save percentage and a 2.71 GAA so far this season. However, in the three games Rask has started in, his offense has only provided him with three total goals to work with, leaving Rask no room for error on the ice.
Claude Julien said today at the morning skate that his team needs to start helping Rask out.
"I think it’s unfortunate [Rask’s] record doesn’t indicate the way he’s played but we’ve failed in front of him," "Julien said. "Everybody knows that the games that we haven’t given him much help and we haven’t played well in front of him either so he’s got an opportunity tonight to win his first game. And it’s up to all of us, him included, to be solid and the rest of the team to play the way we have lately."
Scratched from tonight’s lineup is forward Rich Peverley who is out with a "minor undisclosed injury." Julien said that even though he played in the last game, they are going to give him just a couple more days to recover. Benoit Pouliot will be replacing him.
Players To Watch: Milan Lucic is riding a three-game goal streak, including two goals in his last outing. His line is starting to perform and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see it open up again against the Islanders.
Bergeron is also streaking with points in the past six games (3-5=8 total) and has been essential on his line as of later after starting off crawling at the beginning of the season.
Chris Kelly is hitting a milestone tonight, playing in his 500th career NHL game. Kelly has seven points this season, with his last goal coming against Ottawa.
Prediction: The Bruins are finally clicking and I think with Rask in front of them, they are going to come out extra strong with their new bout of confidence. Final Score: Bruins 4, Islanders 1.