BY: DAVID KOLB
NEW YORK ISLANDERS (11-14-6) @ BOSTON BRUINS (17-13-3)
FIRST OF THREE
Tonight, the Islanders head to TD Garden for the first of three games in their season series with the Bruins. New York will look to reverse their current five-game losing streak while Boston enters the night having won five straight contests over the Isles.
FIGHT ‘TILL THE FINISH
The common thread in the Islanders’ recent losses has been their inability to stay in games during the third period. Sunday vs. Ottawa, the Isles allowed three third period goals, bringing their total during their five-game losing streak to 11 goals allowed in the third period.
LEE-DING THE ISLES’
26-year-old forward Anders Lee scored Sunday against Ottawa, giving him two goals in his past three games. In December, Lee has five goals and two assists for seven points in nine games. He leads New York with 10 goals in 31 games this season.
The Islanders will catch a bit of a break tonight as Bruins forward David Pastrnak will be out of the lineup for the second straight game. Pastrnak underwent surgery to remove an olecranon bursa on his right elbow. As of he has been shooting lights out, racking up 19 goals in only 27 games this season and will be missed tonight on the B’s top line.
GETTING BACK ON PACE
Isles forward John Tavares only has two points (one goal, one assist) in his past five games with a cumulative minus-4 in his past two contests. If the Islanders hope to get going and begin a push for a playoff berth, No. 91 must begin producing closer to his point-per-game level he’s been able to obtain over the past six seasons.