Bruins-Islanders Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 18, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 19: Portrait of Evgeni Nabokov #20 of the San Jose Sharks before the game bewteen the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on January 19, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Another outstanding effort in net helped the Boston Bruins extend their winning streak, even with the rest of the team a bit sluggish. Boston will try to win its eighth straight Saturday night when it visits the New York Islanders, who will be without Evgeni Nabokov. Despite their worst offensive effort in over two weeks, the Bruins (10-7-0) still managed to push their streak to seven with a 2-1 shootout victory over Columbus on Thursday. Boston finished with 27 shots - third-fewest of the season - against the club with the NHL's worst record. The Bruins scored at least four regulation goals in the first six games of the streak, totaling 34 during that span. "We looked a little tired. You could see it in our players' faces and the way they were coming back to the bench," coach Claude Julien said. "The one thing that I liked was that no matter what, we still found a way to win." Tuukka Rask kept the Bruins in the game with 30 saves. Boston has allowed 14 goals during the seven-game run. Although Rask started a 6-2 win over the Islanders on Nov. 7, Tim Thomas could be back in net Saturday. He has won his last four starts while posting a 2.00 goals-against average. Thomas is 7-1-1 with a 1.78 GAA in his last nine starts against the Islanders. The Bruins will also face Northeast Division rivals Montreal and Buffalo on this three-game road trip. The Islanders have the fewest points in the Eastern Conference while the Canadiens are in last place in the division, although just one point behind Boston. The Bruins hope they've learned a lesson about overlooking an opponent. "Don't take anybody lightly," David Krejci told the Bruins' official website. "Just don't take anybody lightly and just play your game. I think that's what we have to do from now on." Boston hasn't won eight straight since a 10-game run from Dec. 12, 2008-Jan. 1, 2009. The Islanders (5-8-3) snapped a four-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over visiting Montreal on Thursday. New York scored four times in the second period, including Matt Moulson's sixth goal of the season and third in as many games. However, Nabokov left with an injured groin in the first period and was replaced by Rick DiPietro, who stopped 24 shots to earn the victory. With Nabokov out indefinitely, New York will lean on DiPietro and Al Montoya. The oft-injured DiPietro is 2-1-2 with a 2.85 goals-against average in five games - three starts - this season. "Tonight was a big step in the right direction," DiPietro said. "We need to play with some desperation and urgency. ... At the end of the day, this team isn't going to settle for mediocrity. We're not going to be happy winning one game and then losing a couple." The Islanders, who rank last in the NHL with 35 goals, haven't won two straight since a three-game winning streak Oct. 10-15. Right wing Kyle Okposo was a healthy scratch for the second consecutive game Thursday after recording no goals, three assists and a minus-7 rating in his first 14 contests. After totaling a career-high 52 points in 2009-10, he was limited to 38 games last season because of a shoulder injury. Boston has won five of the last six meetings against New York, outscoring the Islanders 23-11 in the wins. Nathan Horton had two goals and an assist in the victory earlier this month.
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