Islanders vs. Bruins: Betting odds, lineups, Josh Bailey needs to deliver

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DENVER, COLORADO - DECEMBER 17: Josh Bailey #12 of the New York Islanders plays the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on December 17, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

The New York Islandesr welcome the Boston Bruins to the Barclays Center. Here's what you need to know leading up to tonight's game.

Over the last twelve games, the New York Islanders have gone 6-5-1. It's been a rough stretch where the Isles have scored 2.5 goals-for per game. Under Barry Trotz, the Islanders have never been 'force' offensively but they've been especially poor recently.

They've needed help offensively over that stretch, and Josh Bailey hasn't been giving it to them. Over those 12 games, Bailey has a single point.

He's not the only one who's underperformed of late, but his lack of contributions offensively have been glaring. Against the Boston Bruins today, Bailey is going to have to deliver.

Barry Trotz has trusted his "Swiss Army Knife" to get his offensive game going by placing him next to Mathew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier on the team's second line.

It might not be fair to ask Bailey to step it up against the second-best team in the league, but the Isles need offense from other sources than Mathew Barzal and Brock Nelson and they need it now.

Tale of the Tape

IslandersBruins
27-12-3Record26-8-11
2.79Goals-For/GP3.36
2.55Goals-Against/GP2.47
19.1PP%27.4
80.9PK%83.7
29.1Shot-for/GP31.3
31.4Shots-Against/GP30.8

In every aspect of the game - record, goals-for, goals-against, shots, specials teams - the Boston Bruins are a better team. The Islanders aren't far behind in some categories, but there is no doubt that the Isles are the second-best outfit on paper. We'll see if that manifests itself on the ice.

Betting odds

The Islanders are the home team and the fifth-best team in the NHL, but Vegas still has the Isles as the underdog for tonight. Courtesy of the Action Network, the Moneyline for the Islanders opened at +110.

To be fair to the oddsmakers, the Isles have lost four of their last five at home. All against worst teams that the Boston Bruins (who are the second-best team in the NHL). Boston, for their part, has won three of their last five games on the road.

Possible Lines

New York Islanders

With back-to-back wins over the Colorado Avalanche and then the New Jersey Devils, there's no reason to change the lineup.

The only change will be in the crease with Semyon Varlamov back in nets. With a 3-2-0 record over his last five, while averaging 1.6GAA and 0.946SV% the crease is firmly his.

Boston Bruins

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Where to Watch the Game

Live: Barclays Center (Get tickets here)
TV: MSG+, MSG Go
Radio: 88.7FM, 103.9FM, 1050AM