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Boston Bruins vs. New York Islanders Preview

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Bruins will welcome the New York Islanders to TD Garden tonight at 7 p.m. for their first of three meetings this season.

Last year, games with the Islanders were often high-scoring occasions. In three of their four meetings, the Bruins put up six goals to secure their wins. The other one was a win, too, but by a much thinner 3-2 margin.

The Islanders are coming off a big win against the Toronto Maple Leafs last night–they scored seven goals, including an impressive bad-angle empty netter by the speedy Michael Grabner, to defeat the Leafs 7-4. Of course, the Bruins’ most recent game against the New York Rangers ended 4-3 in overtime with Marian Gaborik securing a hat trick and planting 50 trees in the process.

For the Islanders, they’re going to rest Evgeni Nabokov, who played last night, and put Rick DiPietro in net. Please hold all your lousy jokes about injuries. DiPietro hails from Winthrop, Mass., so he’ll actually be back in somewhat familiar territory. Meanwhile, the Bruins plan to ride Tuukka Rask‘s hot hand.

“Tuukka is Tuukka…[there’s] a lot of pressure on him to replace the guy that left & so far he’s been doing a great job for us,” coach Claude Julien said.

Dennis Seidenberg, who missed the Rangers game, is another game-time decision, but the outlook for him playing appears to be more positive today, according to Julien. Coach also had some more praise for young gun Dougie Hamilton, saying that he has been getting better and better every game.  Hamilton is usually paired with Seidenberg, so we’ll see who he goes out with tonight. In morning skate, he alternated with Seidenberg and Aaron Johnson.

The team’s defense-first approach means it hasn’t exactly been raining goals for the Bs lately. Alternate captain Chris Kelly said not to worry about it.

“We’re a defensive first team–focus on that and offense will come…[We’ll] keep doing the little things that will lead to offensive chances,” he said.

The Islanders could be a good team to get that off the ground, but Julien stressed not to take them for granted. “Our team respects the NY Islanders because we know what they have,” he said.

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If anyone ever tells you not to touch their coat, don't touch their coat.

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