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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 - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
2 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
3 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
4 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
5 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
6 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
7 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
8 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 80 32 36 12 68
L. Eriksson 82 30 33 13 63
D. Krejci 72 17 46 4 63
B. Marchand 77 37 24 21 61
R. Spooner 80 13 36 -9 49
T. Krug 81 4 40 9 44
M. Beleskey 80 15 22 6 37
Z. Chara 80 9 28 12 37
J. Hayes 75 13 16 -12 29
D. Pastrnak 51 15 11 3 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 31 22 8 .915 2.56
J. Gustavsson 11 9 1 .908 2.72
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