The New York Islanders have had a hard time winning games of late, and that's certainly been the case against the Boston Bruins in recent seasons.
Looking to avoid a third consecutive loss, the Islanders also will aim to end a nine-game home losing streak against the NHL-leading Bruins on Saturday afternoon in Uniondale, N.Y.
New York is on solid ground in terms of playoff position in the Eastern Conference and has earned at least one point in four straight games, but it is amid a 2-4-2 stretch entering this matinee.
After falling in overtime to the rival New York Rangers on Tuesday, the Islanders failed to hold a late one-goal lead at St. Louis on Thursday and ended up falling 3-2 in overtime.
"We'll take the point, but we have another level," coach Barry Trotz told the Islanders' official website.
"We'll see at the end of the whole process if this is the one that got away or if this is the one that got us in (the playoffs)."
For the most part, New York has shown that other level by scoring 28 goals while going 5-0-2 at home this month. However, the Islanders also have yielded 19 goals in those games.
The Islanders have been outscored 38-15 while going 0-8-1 at home against the Bruins since last beating them there on Nov. 2, 2013. They fell in overtime 3-2 on Jan. 11. New York also is in the midst of a 1-6-2 overall rut against Bruins, but that victory came 3-2 in a shootout at Boston on Dec. 19.
The Bruins avoided a third straight loss by holding on for a 4-3 home win over Dallas on Thursday. David Pastrnak scored his league-leading 46th goal and added an assist while Brad Marchand also posted one of each to help raise Boston's point total to 92.
"We correct the mistakes and we believe in each other, we believe we have a good team," Bruins forward David Krejci told NHL.com. "We work hard."
The hard work put in by former Islander Jaroslav Halak appears to be paying off. He made 31 saves Thursday, and has a 1.83 goals-against average while winning six straight starts. Halak last faced New York in January 2014, before joining the team the next season.
Teammate Tuukka Rask has allowed 10 goals while losing his past two starts, but he has a stellar 1.11 goals-against average during a 6-0-1 stretch versus New York.
Pastrnak has 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) in his past 10 games overall, but just one assist in his past three games against the Islanders.
Marchand, meanwhile, has three goals with nine assists during an eight-game point streak. He has failed to dent the scoresheet in three straight versus New York, however.
New York's Mathew Barzal, who leads the team with 56 points, has eight assists in his past five contests. He's totaled two goals with five assists in eight career games versus Boston.
Teammate Jordan Eberle has recorded five goals with two assists in the past five contests overall and Jean-Gabriel Pageau has two goals in as many games since the Islanders acquired him from Ottawa.
Semyon Varlamov has a 2.39 goals-against average while going 4-0-1 at home this month for New York. He has a 2.37 goals-against average in the two meetings with Boston this season.
Backup Thomas Greiss, who stopped 29 shots Thursday, has allowed at least three goals in five consecutive starts.
--Field Level Media