New York Islanders vs. Boston Bruins Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 15th 2023

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The New York Islanders will look to extend one streak and end another on Friday when they host the Boston Bruins in Elmont, N.Y.

The Islanders will attempt to extend their season-high winning streak to five games with a victory on Friday. That result would also prevent a sixth consecutive loss to the Bruins.

Amid a 9-1-4 stretch, New York also has earned at least one point in seven straight games (6-0-1) following a 4-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday.

The Islanders squandered a 2-0 lead in the second period only to forge a 3-3 tie on Mathew Barzal’s power-play goal at 7:46 of the third period. New York scored the eventual game-winning goal after Simon Holmstrom scored with 1:33 remaining in regulation.

“We’re just learning from our mistakes, and just having a good character room, where we weren’t going to let it get to us,” said Barzal, who has 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in his last seven games.

Though the Islanders continue to play well, they’ve been outscored 24-11 in non-shootout goals during their current 0-4-1 skid against Boston. Holmstrom recorded a short-handed goal and Barzal had an assist during New York’s 5-2 loss at Boston on Nov. 9. Meanwhile, the Bruins’ Charlie Coyle scored three goals and set up another in that contest.

Coyle, though, has just one goal with an assist in his last seven games for Boston, which fell to 1-1-1 in its recent stretch following Wednesday’s 2-1 overtime loss at New Jersey. The Bruins also could be without center Pavel Zacha for a second consecutive game and star defenseman Charlie McAvoy for a third straight contest due to upper-body injuries.

Despite the injuries, Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said he was pleased with players stepping up when their number is called.

“I love the way we compete,” Montgomery said. “I love the way the guys who got extra minutes (on Wednesday) competed.

“It gets you excited about what our team can continue to grow.”

Of course, Montgomery has what’s arguably the NHL’s best goaltending tandem to lean on.

Boston’s Jeremy Swayman, who made 33 saves on Wednesday, has a 1.44 goals-against average with a .952 save percentage during his current 2-1-1 starting stretch. Meanwhile, teammate Linus Ullmark has allowed three goals in each of his last three starts but stopped 27 of 29 shots against the Islanders last month.

New York’s Ilya Sorokin made 30 saves at Boston this season and has a 3.18 goals-against average even though he has gone 3-0-1 this month. Teammate Semyon Varlamov, who made 21 saves on Wednesday, has yielded at least three goals in each of his last seven outings.

Boston star David Pastrnak has been held without a point in three of the last four games. However, he has two goals with six assists in his last five games versus New York.

–Field Level Media

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