On this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the New York Islanders will be playing in their first game at the Nassau Coliseum since March 7, 2020, in what will be the Islanders home opener of the 2021 season against the Boston Bruins.
Since it is a holiday, the Islanders and Bruins will be facing off at the unconventional time of 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. There will be no fans in attendance at tonight’s contest. This will be the Islanders’ last season at the Coliseum before they move into their new state-of-the-art home, UBS Arena.
The Islanders are coming into this game after an abysmal 5-0 loss to the Rangers. The Islanders looked lifeless in their performance at Madison Square Garden, but today is a new day and a great opportunity for the Islanders to put that loss behind them and pick up two points from a tough Bruins team.
The New York Islanders are seeking to win their last home opener at the historic Nassau Coliseum.
Boston started the season with a two-game series in New Jersey against the Devils. Both games in this series went past the sixty minutes of regulation.
In the first game of that series, the Bruins need a shootout to beat the devils. On Saturday, the Devils got revenge over Boston and won 2-1 in overtime.
Tale of the Tape
1-1-0 Record 1-0-1
2.00 Goals-For/GP 1.50
2.50 Goals-Against/GP 2.00
16.7 PP% 28.6
90.9 PK% 100.0
28.0 Shot-for/GP 32.5
28.0 Shots-Against/GP 26.5
This game should be a tough test for the Islanders. The Bruins are always tough to play against and tonight will be their last game of a three-game road trip. During this road trip, the Bruins have suffered a couple of minor injuries.
Expect the Islanders to have a much forceful effort compared to Saturday night. This game should go down to the wire and will be a great game to watch.
New York Islanders 1-1-0
The biggest issue coming into tonight’s game for the Islanders is goaltending. The Islanders did not practice yesterday and the severity of Semyon Varlamov‘s injury is still up in the air.
Most likely Ilya Sorokin will get his second NHL start tonight against the Bruins and Cory Schneider will be backing him up.
One other change that the Islanders are projected to make is on the third line. Leo Komarov, who took some reps with the third line on Friday at practice, is expected to replace Kieffer Bellows on the wing.
Other than that, the Islanders are not expected to make any more changes as they look to right their wrongs from Saturday night.
The Islanders are projected to lineup like this:
Boston Bruins 1-0-1
When looking at the Bruins 2021 roster, the most notable change that Islanders fans will see is that they look a bit different on defense compared to years prior.
Boston lost two key defensemen to free agency this offseason including their former captain, Zdeno Chara, and Torey Krug, who signed a nice seven-year contract with a $6,500,000 AAV with the Blues.
The Bruins decided to go in a younger direction with their d-core. Boston’s defense is now led by Long Islander and Long Beach, New York native Charlie McAvoy. McAvoy is a fun player to watch with his vision and skating, and he is occasionally known for throwing a big hit when the opposition has their head down.
The most notable omission for the Bruins for tonight’s lineup is David Pastrnak. Pastrnak is still rehabbing from right hip surgery and is expected to return in a couple of weeks. In his spot on the top-line, we are projected to see Anders Bjork.
The Bruins are also expected to be without Ondrej Kase tonight after he suffered an upper-body injury in the second period of the Bruin’s game on Saturday. It is projected that Trent Frederic may take Kase’s spot on the Bruins’ second line and Jack Stundnicka will be on the Bruins’ fourth line.
The rest of the Bruins lineup will look similar to last year’s President’s Trophy-winning team. Craig Smith, who was signed this offseason, features on Boston’s third line.
It is projected that Tuukka Rask will start in net against the blue and orange, and former Islander Jaroslav Halak will be backing him up. Rask played in game one of the season and got the win, while Halak lost in overtime in their most recent game.
Boston is expected to lineup like this:
Where to Catch the Game
TV: MSG+, NBCSN, NESN, SNE, SNW, SNP, MSG GO
Radio: 88.7FM 103.9FM 1050AM
All Stats Provided by the NHL
The Boston Bruins (1-0-1) visit the New York Islanders (1-1-0) for a 5 p.m. ET puck drop at Nassau Coliseum Monday.
The Bruins split a two-game set against the New Jersey Devils to open their season. They won 3-2 in a shootout Thursday and lost 2-1 in overtime Saturday.
The Islanders split their first two games against the New York Rangers. They won 4-0 Thursday and lost 5-0 Saturday.