Final OT

Series (Game 2 of 4)

Boston leads 1-0

Game 1: Saturday, January 3rd
Game 2: Tuesday, January 27th
Game 3: Thursday, January 29th
Game 4: Tuesday, February 24th

Bruins 2

(22-14-4, 59 pts)

Islanders 2

(24-20-1, 54 pts)

7:00 PM ET, January 27, 2004

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York

1 2 3 OT T
BOS 1 0 1 02
NYI 2 0 0 02

T. Hunter (Islanders - RW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

R. DiPietro (Islanders - G): Saves: 35, Save Pct.: .946

P. Axelsson (Bruins - F): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Thornton was sidelined with broken cheek news services

UNIONDALE, New York -- The Boston Bruins hope the return of their top scorer, Joe Thornton, will help snap a two-game losing streak when the team faces the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday night.

The Islanders, meanwhile, are coming off a streak of their own -- consecutive victories at Carolina and Atlanta to improve to just 7-12-4-1 on the road this season.

Thornton, wearing a full face cage, will be back on the Bruins front line just five days after undergoing surgery on his fractured cheekbone, the Boston Herald has reported. Thornton sustained the injury in a fight with the Rangers' Eric Lindros last week.

"Everything feels fine,'' Thornton told the Herald. Thornton hasn't played with the full face mask since he was a 14-year-old playing youth hockey in Ontario.

Though Thornton says he could not see clearly immediately after the fight, the Herald reports that his vision is fine even though his right eye remains bloodshot and swollen, with stitches under the eye.

Thornton, who had a small plate surgically implanted to stabilize his cheekbone, told the paper he wasn't worried about suffering another injury to the cheekbone, since the face mask covers his entire face.

"I can't get high-stuck or anything like that, so I'm not concerned at all," Thornton told the paper. "I'm not nervous at all."

On Saturday, Rick DiPietro stopped 25 shots for his second career shutout and Oleg Kvasha scored one of the New York's three power-play goals in a 3-0 victory over the Thrashers.

Emerging as the No. 1 goaltender, the 22-year-old DiPietro has allowed a total of just six goals in winning his last four starts.

New York is 5-3-1 in its last eight contests, but DiPietro has only one of those losses. The Islanders lead the Eastern Conference in home wins with a 17-8-0 mark here.

Boston enters off consecutive home defeats to Buffalo and Florida.

On Saturday, Patrice Bergeron's 14th goal was all the Bruins could manage in a 2-1 setback to the Panthers. Brian Rolston had six of Boston's 44 shots on Roberto Loungo, who denied P.J. Axelsson on a penalty shot in the third period.

The 18-year-old Bergeron, who is the youngest player in the league, was named to the YoungStars Game during All-Star weekend.

In the first meeting of the season, the teams skated to a 3-3 tie in Boston on January 3. In that contest, rookie Trent Hunter and defenseman Adrian Aucoin scored third-period goals for the Islanders, who are 1-0-2 in their last three meetings with the Bruins.

The teams also play Thursday at Boston.

Information from SportsTicker was used in this report.