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New York Islanders @ Boston Bruins [Game 56 Thread]

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The regular-season finale is upon us.

NHL: MAR 25 Islanders at Bruins
The Islanders haven’t beaten Boston when they wear an alternate. Let’s hope for the regular home jersey?
Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tonight, the New York Islanders play game no. 56 out of 56 on the schedule against the Boston Bruins. This game was originally scheduled for March 23 but had to be moved to the end of the season due to the Bruins’ COVID-19 pause.

This will not be the final game of the regular season for the Bruins; they play again tomorrow night. They will be on the road to visit the Washington Capitals in a potential first-round preview—in fact, they may end up just staying down there until the postseason begins.

If the Bruins pick up a point tonight, they lock up a match-up with the Capitals in Round 1; the Islanders would start on the road against the Pittsburgh Penguins. However, if the Islanders win in regulation tonight, the Bruins would have to beat the Capitals tomorrow night to hold on to third place.

Despite these stakes, I expect both teams will take it easy tonight. Neither team is eligible for home ice. And at this point, playing for a specific opponent feels like tempting fate. Maybe I’m just saying that because the Islanders are the desired opponent for the fans of the other three teams in the division. But if that’s true, then the Islanders would be able to live in their comfort zone: playing as the underdog. So it could be worse.

The lineup for the game is still unclear. That being said, we do know that Semyon Varlamov will be in net.

Also, it appears that Cal Clutterbuck will spell Matt Martin this evening.

Any other lineup changes are thus far unknown.

Tonight’s game will be on the local broadcast stations, MSG+ down here, and NESN up in the Boston area. But for those outside the market, it will be on NBCSN.