The NY Islanders head to Boston to take on the Boston Bruins. Expect big changes to the Isles lineup thanks to strong coaching decisions and a potential injury bug in the locker room.
The Islanders ended their five-game point streak on Monday night after a 4-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild. The Wild went up 1-0 quicly after a goal by Pat Maroon just minutes into the game. The Isles didn't let up and got a goal by Noah Dobson who stays hot with his second goal in two games. Much to coaches and fans suprise, a struggling Oliver Wahlstrom scored his first of the season. The forward has struggled to stay and score in the Isles lineup after missing the majority of last season with a lower body injury. The same story seems to be told every third period with the Islanders blowing a lead. They can't seem to play for a whole 60 minutes, struggling to maintain their speed and continue to take bad penalties. The Wild were able to score two more during the third, including a power play goal, leading Marc-Andre Fleury to being only four wins away from tying Patrick Roy for second-most wins all time.
The Bruins are coming off of a 3-2 win against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night. Goaltender Jeremy Swayman made 35 saves to lead the bruins to victory. Rookie John Beecher scored his first NHL goal in his 12th game of the season. Most notably, the Bruins were outshot 16-4 during the third period but were able to get a goal by captain Brad Marchand on the power play.
The last time the Isles faced the Bruins in March 2023, they fell 6-2 on the night of Jake DeBrusk's return to the B's lineup after missing 17 games due to injury. He had a goal and an assist on the nice. Trent Frederic scored twice and Nick Foligno had a goal and an assist as well. After the game, head coach Lane Lambert noted that every mistake made by the Isles during the loss ended with the puck at the back of their net, a problem this team continues to have over the last few games. The Islanders had to play catchup all night with the Bruins getting 3 goals during the first period. A goal by Kyle Palmieri to start the second lessened the Bruins lead, unil Patrice Bergeron scored his 20th goal of the season two minutes later. The Bruins scored twice more during the second period, and the lone third period goal by Matt Martin wasn't enough to bring the Isles within reach of a comeback. The loss against the Bruins was the game in which Mat Barzal suffered his regular-season ending injury after a hit from Craig Smith.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Dobson is hoping to continue his two-game goal streak against the Bruins, and has 4 points in his last 5 games. He sits just two points away from the reaching 100 NHL points. Forward Bo Horvat, who is a game time decision for tonight's game, had two assists during Monday's loss to the Wild. Bruins forward David Pastrnak has 3 points in his last two games and seven points in his last five games. Goaltender Ilya Sorokin will face Linus Ullmark, who last saw each other at the NHL awards when Ullmark won the Vezina Trophy over Sorokin. Ullmark is 4-1-1 this season with a 2.30 goals against average and a .926 save percentage.
Notable, Pierre Engvall, who started off the season hot for the Isles, is a healthy scratch tonight. Oliver Wahlstrom is expected to take his place on the second line alongside Brock Nelson and Palmieri. Julien Gauthier will take Horvat's place in the lineup if he is unable to play.