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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, January 25th (All times Eastern)
New York Islanders (2-1-0) at Boston Bruins (2-0-1), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Boston Bruins will try to extend their season-opening point streak to four straight games on Friday evening when they play host to the New York Islanders.
The Bruins picked up a pair of home victories over the New York Rangers and Winnipeg Jets to open the season, then traveled to the Big Apple on Wednesday looking for their first 3-0 start since 2001-02 in a rematch with the Rangers.
Nathan Horton scored with 4:23 left in regulation to force overtime, but the Rangers' Marian Gaborik completed his hat trick just 27 seconds into the extra frame to hand the Bruins a 4-3 loss.
Gaborik took advantage of a Bruins pass that Andrew Ference could not handle at the point, tapping the puck ahead and racing in on Tuukka Rask, who made the initial save before the Rangers winger banged the rebound home out of mid- air.
Rask made 29 saves, while Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand also scored in the setback.
"This is never an easy place to come into and they're one of the heavyweight favorites to be in it at the end this year," said Lucic. "It was nice that we stayed with them, just couldn't pull it out at the end there."
Boston did kill off all five Rangers power plays and have yet to yield a goal in 14 shorthanded situations this season. That is the best season-opening penalty killing stretch for the club since 2001-02, when it began the campaign by killing off 27 straight penalties.
The Bruins are one of two teams in the NHL yet to allow a power-play goal this season and the other team happens to be the Islanders, who are a perfect 10- for-10 when down a man this season.
New York's penalty kill will face a Boston power play that is just 1-for-14 on the season, while the Islanders have three goals in 13 chances on the man advantage.
The Isles got one of those power-play goals in Thursday's 7-4 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. New York trailed 3-1 at the end of the first, but Mark Streit and Brad Boyes scored 1:26 apart in the second to tie the game before New York netted the first three goals of the third frame.
Toronto stopped the bleeding on a tally with 2:13 to play, but Michael Grabner iced things just over a minute later with a short-handed goal.
"Once we got going, we started to wear them down," said New York forward John Tavares, who has four assists in his past two games. "We tried to make them turn and play a 200-foot game and put pressure on them. We kept going one shift at a time, got some big goals and turned the tide."
Boyes ended with a goal and two assists, while both Grabner and Matt Moulson scored twice. Moulson has notched three goals and five points over New York's first three games.
Evgeni Nabokov made 39 saves for New York, which opened its season by splitting a pair of home games and won the first contest of a five-game road trip.
The Islanders have struggled as of late in this series. The Bruins won three of the four meetings last season and are 14-3-1 in the last 18 encounters. They have gone 9-2-1 in the past 12 played in Boston.
01/25 10:41:25 ET