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B's Look to Stop Red-Hot Islanders

Saturday, 03.31.2012 / 9:05 AM ET / Features
By Anthony Gulizia  - BostonBruins.com
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B\'s Look to Stop Red-Hot Islanders
BostonBruins.com – With a little help from the Pittsburgh Penguins, who beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-3 Friday, the Boston Bruins have clinched a playoff spot.

The Bruins (45-28-4) had an opportunity to clinch on Thursday against the Washington Capitals, but a 3-2 shootout loss put the B’s playoff spot temporarily on hold.

Going in today’s game against the New York Islanders, the Black & Gold were ready to come out strong and secure their postseason spot. But even with their work done for them, the Bruins aren’t going to take Saturday’s game lightly.

The Islanders (33-33-11) are last in the Atlantic division, but they’ve won five of their last six games.

“The Islanders, I think lately, have been playing really well and I think you’ve seen that a lot of times when a team is mathematically eliminated,” Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said. “There’s a lot of pressure that comes off those guys – they just go out and all they do is play. They really play, and want to enjoy the last few games they have left and that usually gets the best out of your team.”

When the Bruins take the ice against the Islanders, forward Brad Marchand hopes that his team is riding the momentum from Thursday’s game.

Despite the loss, the B’s made an energizing comeback in the last five minutes to erase a two-goal deficit and salvage the extra point in the shootout.

“It’s good for us,” Marchand said. “We showed some good character there coming back, especially going into the playoffs that’s what you need. You need to be able to come back in games and we definitely want to continue to build off that momentum we had coming back in that game and bring it into this weekend and the rest of the season and hopefully it can help us a bit.”

The last time the Bruins and the Islanders squared off, New York got the best of Boston with a 3-2 victory in the TD Garden.

But the B’s are a different team since then, as they have come out of their midseason slump and have won five of their last seven.

The depth that the made the Bruins offense so dangerous has returned to the lineup – most recently in the form of the line of Benoit Pouliot, Chris Kelly and Brian Rolston – and Marchand said that will help the team down the road.

“We’re a good team because we have four lines and any line can score and even step up and give us a good game and that’s what you need in the playoffs,” Marchand said. “You need every line to be able to contribute and right now, that’s what we have so hopefully that will continue to happen.”

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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
2 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
3 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
4 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
5 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
6 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
7 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
8 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 81 23 32 2 55
L. Eriksson 81 22 25 1 47
M. Lucic 81 18 26 13 44
C. Soderberg 82 13 31 10 44
B. Marchand 77 24 18 5 42
D. Hamilton 72 10 32 -3 42
R. Smith 81 13 27 7 40
T. Krug 78 12 27 13 39
D. Krejci 47 7 24 7 31
C. Kelly 80 7 21 6 28
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 34 21 13 .922 2.30
N. Svedberg 7 5 1 .918 2.33
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