Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - FEBRUARY 18: Jake DeBrusk #74 of the Boston Bruins scores a goal against Semyon Varlamov #40 of the New York Islanders during the first period at TD Garden on February 18, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

After a two-game trek with stops in Dallas and Detroit, the Bruins will find themselves back in the comfortable confines of TD Garden when the Islanders come to town Thursday night.

And while it may not come with the same energy as the Atlantic-best vs. Central-best thriller we were treated to when the Bruins skated against the Stars on Monday, there’s no denying that the Bruins will have a significant challenge on their hands when the Islanders come to town.

“They’re playing a lot more aggressively offensively, which I think has made them better offensively,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said. “They’re giving up a little bit more, but they’re still a really good defensive team.”

  • On a health front, the Bruins will be without Morgan Geekie (and four other lineup regulars), but the team does hope to get defenseman Derek Forbort back in action after missing the last three games with an injury.

    Islanders center Bo Horvat, meanwhile, will be a game-time decision for the club. Horvat has scored four goals and nine points through 10 games with the Islanders this season.

    Here’s four players to watch for when the Bruins and Isles get underway at TD Garden tonight…

  • Jake DeBrusk

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - NOVEMBER 02:Jake DeBrusk #74 of the Boston Bruins celebrates after scoring against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the shootout at TD Garden on November 02, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Bruins defeat the Maple Leafs 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – NOVEMBER 02:Jake DeBrusk #74 of the Boston Bruins celebrates after scoring against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the shootout at TD Garden on November 02, 2023. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

  • Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk finally breaking through with a goal last week did not come with the avalanche many expected given his career tendencies. DeBrusk did have an assist and five shots on goal in the outing after his first goal of the season, but did not find the back of the net in either Detroit or Dallas, and comes into tonight’s game with just one goal and five points through 12 games this season.

    But, the good news: DeBrusk is going against a team he’s torched in recent years, as DeBrusk takes to the ice tonight with four goals and six points in five meetings against the Islanders since the start of the 2021-22 year.

    DeBrusk is also playing on a line that has some definite potential to do some damage, with No. 74 slated to skate to the right of Danton Heinen and Matt Poitras on Boston’s third line.

  • Pavel Zacha

    Sep 29, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins center Pavel Zacha (18) gets set for a face-off during the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

    Sep 29, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins center Pavel Zacha (18) gets set for a face-off during the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

  • Monday night in Dallas saw what was a six-game point streak come to an end for the Bruins’ Pavel Zacha.

    Zacha did make an impact elsewhere (he won 13 of his 18 faceoffs in the gritty victory), but now comes getting back on the board, and against a team with some high-quality centermen.

    Home ice has been kind to Zacha out of the gate this season, with three goals and five points in six games at TD Garden this season. And Zacha had considerable success against New York in his first year as a Bruin, too, with one goal and four points in three meetings with the Isles.

  • Kevin Shattenkirk

    Oct 14, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (12) looks into the crowd during the third period of a game against the Nashville Predators at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

    Oct 14, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (12) looks into the crowd during the third period of a game against the Nashville Predators at the TD Garden. (Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports)

  • With Charlie McAvoy’s suspension upheld by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, Bruins defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk is going to get one more game — for now, anyway — running Boston’s top power-play unit.

    And this is a primo matchup for him based on his career figures, as the New York native comes into action with six goals and 20 points in 22 career head-to-heads with the Islanders.

    It’ll also be interesting to see how the veteran Shattenkirk responds after Montgomery and the Bruins by all means decreased his usage in a tight finish against the Stars, with Shattenkirk deployed for just 15:11 after three straight games of over 20 minutes.

  • Kyle Palmieri

    Oct 24, 2023; Elmont, New York, USA; New York Islanders center Kyle Palmieri (21) reacts after scoring a goal a against Colorado Avalanche goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) during the second period at UBS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

    Oct 24, 2023; Elmont, New York, USA; Islanders center Kyle Palmieri (21) reacts after scoring a goal a against Avalanche goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) during the second period at UBS Arena. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

  • Jumping into the wayback machine, Kyle Palmieri’s move from the Western Conference’s Anaheim Ducks to the Eastern Conference between the Devils and Islanders has been a downright devastating move for the Bruins.

    In fact, since then, Palmieri has 10 goals and 14 points in 25 games against the Bruins. That makes him one of just 12 players in the NHL to score double-digit goals against the Bruins over that span. (Mika Zibanejad is the top B’s killer on that front, in case you’re curious, with 13 goals against the Bruins since 2015.)

    Palmieri has three goals and eight points through 11 games this season, and comes into tonight’s game riding a four-game goalless stretch and has just one goal in his last six outings.

Sign me up for the 98.5 The Sports Hub email newsletter!

Get the latest Boston sports news and analysis, plus exclusive on-demand content and special giveaways from Boston's Home for Sports, 98.5 The Sports Hub.

*
*
By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.