National Hockey league action on Thursday evening and the Atlantic Division will square off with the Metro Division as the Boston Bruins invade the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York to battle it out with the New York Islanders. The Bruins have a game against the Canadiens at home on Wednesday night and will be playing on no rest, while the Islanders check in off a 4-1 home loss to the Devils. Goalie Probables: the Bruins will be sending out Anton Khudobin and the Islanders will counter with Jaroslav Halak.
Line: Boston -130/NY Islanders +110
Bruins Are Looking To Stay Hot
The Boston Bruins have a game against Montreal on Wednesday night and prior to that game, they had won 18 of their previous 25 games. They should win their game against the Habs, who have really struggled this year and will look to stay hot in this game against an Islanders team that can be very unpredictable. These teams did meet back on January 2nd right here at the Barclays Center and the Bruins took that game by a 5-1 score. They are hoping for similar results in this one, but we do note that the Bruins are just 7-19 in their last 26 games when playing on no rest. Still, it should be a good game. The Bruins have gone 10-9 on the road this year and they have averaged 3.11 gpg and have allowed 2.58 gpg in those games. Tuukka Rask is expected to get the start on Wednesday night, so for this one, it will be Anton Khudobin and he has gone 9-6 with a 2.40 GAA and a .924 save percentage on the year overall, including 5-3 with a 2.02 GAA and a .939 save percentage on the road. In his career, he has gone 32-28 with a 2.55 GAA on the road and 41-38 with a 2.41 GAA against the Eastern Conference, while against the Islanders he has gone 2-4 with a 2.67 GAA.
Boston has been solid on offense so far as they come in ranked 6th in the league in scoring at 3.19 gpg, while also ranking 15th in shots taken (31.7 spg) and 11th in power play conversions, converting on 20.7% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been very good as they enter this contest ranked 3rd in goals allowed, giving up 2.52 gpg, while also ranking 3rd in shots allowed (29.7 spg) and 9th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 17.2% of their chances.
The Offense Struggles In Loss To The Devils
The New York Islanders have been one of the best offensive teams in the league this year, so struggling to score has not been commonplace for them, especially here at home. Well, that offense did struggle on Tuesday night as they fell to the Devils here at home by a score of 4-1. The Isles did have a 1-0 lead on a goal by Anders Lee just 1:39 into the game, but after that, it was all New Jersey. It was Lee’s team-leading 26th goal of the year. That game was on the heels of them scoring 16 goals over their three previous games and now they have to try and get their offense back on track against a Boston team that can be very stingy in the crease. The Islanders have gone 13-9 here at home for the year and they have averaged 3.68 gpg and have allowed 3.45 gpg in those games. Taking the loss against the Devils was Jaroslav Halak, who allowed four goals on 42 shot attempts to fall to 13-15 with a 3.22 GAA and a .906 save percentage on the year, including 8-6 with a 3.21 GAA and a .911 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 132-78 with a 2.30 GAA in his home games and 127-89 with a 2.48 GAA against the Eastern Conference, while against the Bruins he has gone 8-8 with a 2.29 GAA.
The Islanders enter this contest ranked 3rd in the league in scoring at 3.39 gpg, while also ranking 20th in shots taken (31.2 spg) and 12th in power play conversions, converting on 20.0% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been poor as they enter this contest ranked 31st in goals allowed, giving up 3.63 gpg, while also ranking 30th in shots allowed (34.6 spg) and 30th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 26.2% of their chances.
- 7-19 in their last 26 games playing on 0 days rest
New York is:
- 4-0 in their last four home games vs. a team with a winning road record
The Boston Bruins have been hot of late, while the Islanders have been inconsistent all year long. The Bruins are at a disadvantage here as they are playing on no rest and I feel that will aid the Islanders, especially since the Bruins are just 7-19 in their last 26 games when playing on no rest. Jaroslav Halak is just 8-8 against the Bruins in his career, but with a solid 2.29 GAA in those games, while Anton Khudobin has gone 2-4 with a 2.67 GAA against the Islanders in his career. The Islanders are 13-9 here at home for the year and I look for them to grab a big home win over a very solid Boston team that may be a bit tired.