Tonight, the Bruins are at home, hosting the New York Islanders.
After 35 games, the Bruins are at 21-7-7, which is good for 1st place in the Atlantic, and 2nd in the league behind the Capitals. They are 3rd in points percentage, behind the Caps & Isles.
When last we left our heroes, they were facing the lame LA Kings. The Bruins played well, but still managed to lose in overtime at home to one of the worst teams in the league.
What will be the lineup tonight?
Looks like the usual suspects.
Brett Ritchie and Par Lindholm are expected to sit tonight out, leaving David Backes and Anders Bjork in the lineup. Charlie Coyle had been shifted to the 2nd RW slot, with Sean Kuraly in the 3C position, but that reverted back to Coyle & Kuraly at 3C & 4C respectively at morning skate.
Heinen & Wags shift up at RW.
The notable injuries are moving slowly – Defensemen Kevan Miller (fractured kneecap) is still not close to being ready for his season debut, having suffered a setback recently. Forwards Karson Kuhlman and Anton Blidh have begun skating before practice but not during practice. Zach Senyshyn returned to practice after recovering from the lower body injury he acquired during his game in Boston, and has officially been shipped back to Providence. Kuhlman is still dealing with his fractured arm, and is reportedly not close to returning. Blidh is recovering from shoulder surgery.
John Moore & Connor Clifton have been competing for the 6th defenseman spot, with Moore getting most of the starts after his extended absence. Moore is out sick, so Cliffy rotates back in.
Tuukka Rask will be in goal tonight.
|Bruins Forward Lines|
|Bruins Defensive pairs|
|#40 Tuukka Rask||(#41 Jaroslav Halak)|
Tonight’s opponent are the New York Islanders. This is the first of three meetings between the two teams this season. The Isles have managed remain in one of the top two spots in their division all season, currently several games behind the Capitals with a record of 22-8-2, placing them 5th overall in the league, and 2nd in points percentage. They are 4-2-0 in their last six games with two of their wins coming in OT. They have been decent at keeping the puck out of their own net, running at 2.5 goals allowed per game. Where they have lagged a bit is in their ability to get pucks on net – at 28.3 shots/game, they trail the league. Their goaltending has been pretty solid, with Varlamov tying Tuukka Rask at a save percentage of .928.
In the offseason there were a few roster changes – Valtteri Filppula went to the Red Wings,Robin Lehner is a Blackhawk, and former Avalanche, Semyon Varlamov has been brought onboard. Derick Brassard also landed on the Island after bein rented in Colorado.
They have only two injuries of note — Andrew Ladd, is on a conditioning sting in Bridgeport, and Michael Dal Colle missed their last game with an upper-body injury and was listed as day-to-day.
(h/t Daily Faceoff):
#32 Ross Johnston — #13 Mathew Barzal — #12 Josh Bailey
#18 Anthony Beauvillier — #29 Brock Nelson — #47 Leo Komarov
#27 Anders Lee — #10 Derick Brassard — #7 Jordan Eberle
#17 Matt Martin — #53 Casey Cizikas — #15 Cal Clutterbuck
#2 Nick Leddy — #55 Johnny Boychuk
#3 Adam Pelech — #6 Ryan Pulock
#25 Devon Toews — #24 Scott Mayfield
#40 Semyon Varlamov
(#1 Thomas Greiss)