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National Hockey League
Preview
NY Islanders at Boston
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, October 23, 2014
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts


The Boston Bruins appear to be back on track following a dreadful start to the season and will go for their third straight win when they host the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins scored four goals total in their first four games and had dropped three in a row before rebounding to win three of their next four, including Tuesday's 5-3 victory over San Jose. Defenseman Johnny Boychuk, traded from Boston to New York 2 1/2 weeks ago, faces his former team for the first time.

The Islanders are veering in the other direction, dropping back-to-back contests following a blistering start that saw them open the season with four consecutive wins while piling up 18 goals. New York owned the second-best power play in the league through the first four games, but it has converted only 1-of-13 chances with the man advantage in the two setbacks. The Islanders surrendered four goals in under nine minutes in Tuesday's 5-2 loss to Toronto, prompting captain John Tavares to lament: "We were too easy to play against."

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

ABOUT THE ISLANDERS (4-2-0): One troubling trend for New York - even during the four-game win streak - is a propensity to give up goals, permitting at least three in every contest. "Everybody has to be better, starting with me," said netminder Jaroslav Halak, the offseason acquisition who was pulled after giving up five goals on 23 shots versus the Maple Leafs. "I need to be better, everybody around the room needs to be better." Some new faces will be in the lineup Thursday after the Islanders put forward Mikhail Grabovski on injured reserve and placed forward Colin McDonald on waivers Wednesday.

ABOUT THE BRUINS (4-4-0): Boston players acknowledged it will be unsettling to see Boychuk in another uniform, particularly since the trade came on the eve of the season. “It’ll be awkward," Bruins blue-liner Dennis Seidenberg said. "I’ve played with him for a while, and some guys have played with him for five-plus years. It’s definitely going to be a bit of a different feeling when guys have to forecheck him, and have to hit him. Or when I stand in front of the net and he shoots." Forward Milan Lucic, who failed to hit the scoresheet in his first give games, collected three assists in Tuesday's win.

OVERTIME

1. The Bruins have erupted for 13 games in their last three games after scoring six in their first five.

2. Halak is 8-3-0 with a 1.85 goals-against average versus the Bruins.

3. New York won two of three meetings last season and has prevailed in its last two visits to Boston.

PREDICTION: Islanders 3, Bruins 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
NY Islanders 4-2-0-0 L2 2-1-0-0 2-1-0-0 0-0-0-0 4-2-0-0 3-1-0-0
Boston 4-4-0-0 W2 2-2-0-0 2-2-0-0 0-1-0-0 4-3-0-0 ---
Last Meeting
NY Islanders Boston
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
1/27/14 BOS 6 NYI 3 37 31 0-5 37 34 0-2
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
NY Islanders K. Okposo 3
Boston B. Marchand 4
Goals Player  
NY Islanders M. Grabner 1
Boston P. Bergeron 1
Assists Player  
NY Islanders K. Okposo 2
Boston B. Marchand 3
Saves Player  
NY Islanders K. Poulin 30
Boston C. Johnson 34
Season
Total Points Player  
NY Islanders J. Tavares 12
Boston P. Bergeron 10
Goals Player  
NY Islanders B. Nelson 5
Boston P. Bergeron 5
Assists Player  
NY Islanders J. Tavares 9
Boston C. Kelly 7
Saves Player  
NY Islanders J. Halak 181
Boston T. Rask 179
Quickchart Matchup
NY Islanders Off vs  Boston Def
3.5 GF
2.5 GA
33.3 Shots
25.9 Shots
7 PP
7 PK
Boston Off vs  NY Islanders Def
2.38 GF
3.33 GA
30.5 Shots
30 Shots
5 PP
7 PK