Michael Grabner of the Islanders skates in on the Bruins...

Michael Grabner of the Islanders skates in on the Bruins goal on a breakaway in the first period but is broken up by Dougie Hamilton of the Bruins. (Feb. 26, 2013) Credit: David Pokress

BOSTON -- The Bruins, much like the Flyers, have been a constant thorn in the Isles’ sides over the past few seasons.

On Thursday night, the Islanders bring a different wrinkle to TD Garden against a team they are 5-16-1 against over the past five-plus seasons: Confidence.

“We’re playing them at a good time,” Colin McDonald said. “We’re going pretty well right now. You always want to challenge yourselves against the top teams, and they’re definitely one of them.”

The Isles’ 7-1-1 run has not included signature wins over the top teams in the East -- they lost to the Penguins, 2-0, the only pointless game in the last nine. But, the Isles are playing with a mental toughness and consistency that eluded them in past games.

And, even though they’re 0-2 against the Bruins this season, they were tied late into the third period here in January. The Islanders have been battered around at times by the Bruins, but they have to be unconcerned about who the opponent is.

“We just have to make sure we don’t change too much,” Jack Capuano said.

The Bruins are at the tail end of three games in four nights, having won a wild 5-4 decision over the reeling Devils on Wednesday. The Islanders may have once approached this game feeling one point would be good, but they way they’re playing -- and with the Bruins missing Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, both of whom have a ton of success against the Islanders -- they want both points Thursday night.

It will be Evgeni Nabokov vs. Tuukka Rask in goal, and it appears the Isles' lineup will stay the same as it was on Tuesday, when they snapped a seven-game home losing streak to Philly.

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