Everything you need to know from the Bruins’ 3-1 win over the Islanders in quickie form, with BSJ insight and analysis:
B’s keep tabs on finer details, gut one out against New York
For most of Boston’s recent 1-2-3 skid to close out January, Bruce Cassidy has harped on his club’s tendency to shoot itself in the foot — whether it be with costly turnovers, lazy changes or uncharacteristic miscues from some stalwarts on Boston’s roster.
Since Cassidy took his defense (and pretty much everyone else on the roster) to task following an OT loss to the Flyers on Thursday, the B’s seem to have got back on track — posting regulation wins over a pair of playoff-bound teams in the Capitals and Islanders while holding both clubs to just one combined goal.
It hasn’t been easy for the B’s in both matchups, with Tuesday’s 3-1 victory over New York ending with a four-minute stint on the penalty kill, but just about every skater was up to the task. Tuukka Rask stopped three shots during the PK, Zdeno Chara logged 5:35 with Boston skating with a man down and Joakim Nordstrom helped stymie a strong Islanders shift by blocking a pair of shots in the early stages of the third period.
Those plays may not steal most of the headlines, but they were instrumental in getting Boston back on track against two opponents that are awfully tough to play against.
The New England Patriots’ arrival hours after their Super Bowl championship parade might have taken some of the spotlight, but the TD Garden crowd made sure to give Patrice Bergeron his due on what was another major milestone for the B’s center.
Tuesday marked Bergeron’s 1,000th career game in the NHL, with the veteran pivot becoming just the fifth Bruins player to log that number of games with Boston — joining Ray Bourque (1518), Johnny Bucyk (1436), Don Sweeney (1052) and Wayne Cashman (1027).
Bergeron mentioned on Monday that he wasn’t going to treat this matchup any differently, and he was pretty much his usual self — dominating as the man in the middle of Boston’s top line. With two goals in 15:33 of ice time, it was another day at the office for No. 37.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) February 6, 2019
Patrice Bergeron: No surprise here, but Bergeron was once again at the perfect spot on the ice to cash in on Tuesday, as the veteran knocked home a rebound past Robin Lehner to open the scoring at 2:32 in the second period.
Peter Cehlarik: For the first time since Boston’s win over the Blues back on Jan. 18, Boston’s second line of David Krejci, Peter Cehlarik and Jake DeBrusk were all out on the ice together for a goal, as Cehlarik fired home a rebound that juuuuuuuuust slipped past Lehner. Just what this line needs to get rolling.
Tuukka Rask: Another great outing from Rask, who turned aside 28 of the 29 stops that came his way — including a pair of clutch pad saves during that crucial four-minute penalty kill in the closing minutes of regulation. Don’t look now, but Rask is now 8-0-2 in his last 10 games.
Penalty Kill: The Islanders’ lone goal came off a strike from Jordan Eberle on the man advantage, but the B’s as a whole were strong against New York while down a skater. We’ve seen the script many a time this season where Boston has relinquished a lead, and the Islanders’ four-minute power play at 11:41 in the third seemed to set up more heartbreak. Credit to players like Rask, Nordstrom and more with keeping an opportunistic Islanders club off the board.
Power play: The Islanders are one of the hardest teams in the league to score on with Lehner (.932 save percentage) and a defense that has allowed a league-low 2.37 goals per game. Still, Boston’s third-ranked power play had plenty of chances to capitalize early, failing to bury three chances on the man advantage in the first en route to a 0-for-5 showing on the night.
PLAY OF THE GAME:
Classy move by David Pastrnak to close out the night.
David Pastrnak has an empty-net goal right in front of him — but he leaves the puck for Patrice Bergeron to bury.
Bergeron closes out his 1,000th career game with a pair of goals. pic.twitter.com/yWnoZbvss2
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) February 6, 2019
Not quite Rob Gronkowski, but pretty good, Julian Edelman. A number of Patriots made an appearance at TD Garden ahead of Tuesday’s matchup to celebrate their Super Bowl title, including Edelman, Devin McCourty, Jason McCourty, David Andrews, Dont’a Hightower, Robert Kraft and more.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) February 6, 2019
The Bruins will be right back at it against the other club from the Empire State, as Boston will head to the Big Apple for a matchup against the Rangers on Wednesday night. Puck drop is set for 8 p.m. Jaroslav Halak will get the call in net for the second leg of the back-to-back slate.