The New York Islanders will finally get to see a team other than the Buffalo Sabres tonight with the Boston Bruins in town.
The meeting will be the fourth and final one between New York and Boston on Nassau Coliseum ice, where the Islanders hold a 10-0-2 record this season. Boston has dropped all three previous games against the Isles this year and the Islanders have outscored Boston 12-4.
“We play a similar style in terms of we try to play the right way shift in and shift out,” Barry Trotz said about the Isles success against Boston. “Obviously we’ve been very disciplined. We haven’t had to face their power play a lot and we’ve been able to for the most part keep the perfection line in some sort of check. I think we just match up really well.
“Both teams play for real every night and there’s not a lot of room.”
Part of the Islanders’ success this year against Boston has been the finish of the team. In all three previous games, the Islanders and Boston have been tied going into the third period.
From there, New York has outscored Boston 8-0 in the third period this year.
🎥 Eberle Pregame Availability 🎥 pic.twitter.com/kVbmEmNDkJ
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) March 9, 2021
“I don’t expect it to be a runaway game by any means tonight,” Jordan Eberle said. “They’re a detailed club. We’re a detailed club and probably the majority of the nights you get together it’s going to be a very, very tight hockey game. It just goes to show with all the games tied going into the third period. The biggest thing is when you get into those situations you want to continue to try and do the right things and not make that mistake cause each team is looking to capitalize on it.”
The New York Islanders will have everyone available to them tonight, Trotz told reporters this morning. However, the Isles head coach did not reveal who his starting netminder would be. Ilya Sorokin and Semyon Varlamov split the weekend set of games against Buffalo.
Boston will give Jaroslav Halak another crack at beating his former team tonight. He will start in net with Tuukka Rask remaining in Boston to recuperate from appearing to tweak his back. Daniel Vladar will serve as Halak’s backup.
Jake DeBrusk will be a healthy scratch and Sean Kuraly will be back in the line, Boston head coach Bruce Cassidy told reporters this morning.
“They play a similar from the blue line in style to the Bruins. Maybe a little more so in terms of the personnel of 2011, 2012, 2013,” Cassidy said. “They’ll give you some space early in the zone, but their D are always inside the dots and they’re long, and they got good sticks. They box out well. It reminds me of the Seidenberg and Boychuk and Z days.”
New York Islanders Lineup (Projected)
Anders Lee — Mathew Barzal — Jordan Eberle
Anthony Beauvillier — Brock Nelson — Josh Bailey
Michael Dal Colle — Jean-Gabriel Pageau — Oliver Wahlstrom
Matt Martin — Casey Cizikas — Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech — Ryan Pulock
Nick Leddy — Scott Mayfield
Andy Greene — Noah Dobson
Boston Bruins Lineup (Projected)
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — David Pastrnak
Nick Ritchie — David Krejci — Jack Studnicka
Trent Frederic — Charlie Coyle — Craig Smith
Anders Bjork — Sean Kuraly — Chris Wagner
Matt Grzelcyk — Charlie McAvoy
Jakub Zboril — Connor Clifton
Jarred Tinordi — Urho Vaakanainen
How to Watch
Tonight’s game will air on MSG+2 and stream on MSG Go or on NHL.TV outside of the New York market. On the radio dial, the game can be heard on 98.7 FM ESPN New York, 88.7 FM WRHU and 103.9 FM LI News Radio.