Since the Boston Bruins last played the New York Islanders on Jan. 25 (Boston won 4-2), some things have changed on Long Island. The goalie who was in net against the Bruins that evening, Rick DiPietro, has been waived off and sent down to the AHL. John Tavares, who did not score at all in the Jan. 25 meeting, has put up a hat trick and been named one of the league’s stars of the week. Despite having a 4-6-0 record in their last 10 games, the Islanders are giving their fans reason for excitement. Plus, getting the DiPietro issue solved may help them with their confidence as well.
Meanwhile, the men of the Spoked B have a three-game win streak traveling with them to Nassau Coliseum, a new record for the best penalty kill through the first 15 games, their best start to a season since 1976-77, a +11 goal differential to compare to the Islanders’ -8 and a stable of players who have been notably good against the Islanders in the past.
This list includes Milan Lucic (seven goals and 10 assists in 17 games), David Krejci (seven goals and 12 assists in 18 games), former Islander Zdeno Chara (10 goals and 21 assists in 39 games), Tyler Seguin (four goals and four assists in seven games) and Nathan Horton (16 goals and 15 assists in 28 games). If Seguin were to put up a point during tonight’s game, that would be his 100th career point.
Tuukka Rask, who is expected to get the start in goal against Evgeni Nabokov, carries a 5-1-0 record against the Isles with a 2.44 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.
Tonight’s game will be on NESN and NBC Sports Network at 7:30 p.m.