Bruins, Isles clash in Beantown

( - The New York Islanders hope to stay on track with a fourth straight victory in Boston on Saturday night as they visit the wild card holding Bruins.

The Isles snapped a three-game slide with Thursday's 3-2 shootout win over the Philadelphia Flyers, moving them a point ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Metropolitan Division. However, the Penguins regained a one-point lead over New York after picking up a win Friday night in Calgary. Pittsburgh plays again tonight when it visits the Vancouver Canucks.

Cal Clutterbuck had the latter of two second-period goals for the Islanders and then scored the winning goal of the shootout in the seventh round. Mikhail Grabovski scored in regulation as well, while Jaroslav Halak made 16 saves through overtime and another six stops in the breakaway session.

New York improved to 7-1 in shootouts this season after claiming the opener of a three-game swing that ends Sunday in Buffalo.

"Yeah it's huge. It's a great way to start off a road trip for us, and two points is huge," said Islanders center John Tavares. "It's big. We needed it and we got to keep it going now."

It is unknown if Halak or backup Chad Johnson will start on Saturday. Halak is 8-4-0 with a 2.04 goals against average, .936 save percentage and two shutouts in 12 starts versus the Bruins.

Johnson, meanwhile, spent all of last season with Boston and won 17 games. He has faced his former club once before and got the win, halting 30-of-32 shots faced in a 3-2 victory at Boston on Oct. 23.

That was the Islanders third straight win in Boston and they have taken four of the previous six meetings overall.

The Bruins hope to rebound themselves tonight after getting denied a third consecutive win with Wednesday's 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers.

Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron scored in the first period to give Boston an early advantage, but New York scored twice in the second period.

Tuukka Rask stopped 22 shots for the Bruins, who were 8-1-1 in their previous 10 games.

"We weren't executing the way that we know we can, and we paid for it," Bergeron admitted.

Boston does own a five-point edge over the Florida Panthers for the Eastern Conference's second wild card spot and will host Montreal on Sunday.

It is unknown if backup netminder Malcolm Subban, the 24th overall pick of the 2012 draft who was recalled last week, will make his NHL debut this weekend. If head coach Claude Julien has a flair for the dramatic, Subban could start on Sunday versus the Canadiens and his older brother, defenseman P.K. Subban.

Rask is 7-3-0 with a 2.47 GAA and .924 save percentage in 11 career meetings with the Islanders.