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B's Look to Stop Red-Hot Islanders

Saturday, 03.31.2012 / 9:05 AM / Features
By Anthony Gulizia  - BostonBruins.com
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.”

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
3 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
4 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
5 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
6 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
7 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
8 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Krejci 80 19 50 39 69
P. Bergeron 80 30 32 38 62
J. Iginla 78 30 31 34 61
M. Lucic 80 24 35 30 59
B. Marchand 82 25 28 36 53
R. Smith 82 20 31 28 51
C. Soderberg 73 16 32 4 48
Z. Chara 77 17 23 25 40
T. Krug 79 14 26 18 40
L. Eriksson 61 10 27 14 37
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 36 15 6 .930 2.04
C. Johnson 17 4 3 .925 2.10
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