While the New York Islanders don't need a statement victory to reach the playoffs for the first time in six years, it would add to their growing confidence.
Becoming one of the few teams to win in Boston this season would surely serve that purpose.
Enjoying one of their best runs in recent memory, the Islanders look to continue their postseason push Thursday night against the Bruins, who could be without leading scorer Brad Marchand.
Although they managed to stay close to the top eight spots in the Eastern Conference, the Islanders (20-16-4) didn't look much like a team ready to make a run after losing three straight late last month.
Since that skid, however, the Islanders have gone 7-1-1, including four consecutive home wins. They have 15 points during a nine-game stretch for the first time since 2009-10.
The surge has moved New York into a sixth-place tie with Ottawa and the Rangers in the Eastern Conference, although the Senators have one game in hand on both teams. ...