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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, December 31st (All times Eastern)
New York Islanders (12-21-7) at Boston Bruins (26-11-2), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The only time the New York Islanders managed to post consecutive wins this season, the second victory came against the Boston Bruins. The Isles will try to duplicate that trend when they visit the Bruins on Tuesday for a New Year's Eve clash at TD Garden.
The Islanders rallied for a win in Minnesota on Sunday, giving the club three wins in its past five outings. However, New York hasn't been able to string together two straight victories since downing Ottawa and Boston on Nov. 1 and 2, respectively.
The Nov. 2 win over the Bruins came at home and it was the second straight win overall for the Isles in this series. However, Boston has still dominated this series in recent years, taking six of nine and 16 of the last 22 meetings between the clubs.
Boston also has claimed 10 of the last 13 encounters in Beantown, although the Isles have two wins in the past three matchups at TD Garden.
New York found itself down 3-0 in the second period of Sunday's game in Minnesota, before charging back for a 5-4 win in regulation. Kyle Okposo scored the go-ahead goal with 5:48 left in the third period to complete the comeback win in St. Paul.
Okposo had two goals and an assist, while Thomas Hickey added a goal and a pair of helpers for the Islanders, who received 33 saves from Kevin Poulin.
"I think we got going as the game went on," Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck said. "We started getting some momentum when we started jelling."
Okposo actually scored less than two minutes apart in the third. His first goal came on a slapshot from above the right circle at 12:13 to give the visitors a 4-3 edge. Justin Fontaine then put home a rebound in front at 13:45, but Okposo was on the doorstep for the go-ahead tally only 27 seconds later.
It marked the third straight road win for the Islanders, who are 7-13-0 as the visiting team this season.
Forward Michael Grabner missed Sunday's win due to an illness and is questionable for the Isles on Tuesday.
While the Islanders aim for a rare two-game winning streak tonight, the Bruins will try to bounce back after having a three-game streak snapped in Saturday's loss at Ottawa. Bobby Ryan's late marker, coming after a potential Bruins' go- ahead goal was wiped out due to review, gave the Senators a 4-3 victory over Boston in the back end of a home-and-home set.
After notching a 5-0 home win over Ottawa on Friday, the Bruins were dealt a close loss the following day.
Jarome Iginla, Daniel Paille and David Warsofsky scored for Boston in the loss. Tuukka Rask started, but was pulled after yielding three goals on 12 shots. Chad Johnson finished up with 17 saves, but allowed the winner.
Warsofsky's first career goal forged a 3-3 deadlock at 6:36 of the third, but the Bruins were denied their first lead of the contest as a video review revealed that Iginla intentionally kicked in a puck at the left post near the midway point. Ryan then gave the Senators a 4-3 edge when he beat Johnson with a backhander under the crossbar to cap a breakaway with 4:35 to play.
"It would have been nice to come out of here with at least a point. I thought we deserved at least that much with how hard we competed to get back into the game," said Boston coach Claude Julien.
Boston, which recently lost defenseman Dennis Seidenberg for the season due to a knee injury, played Sunday's contest without star blueliner Zdeno Chars. The big Slovakian sat out with an undisclosed injury, but he was able to skate on Monday and is questionable for tonight.
The Bruins have won eight straight on home ice and are boasting a 16-3-2 mark at the Garden this season.
12/31 11:02:32 ET