Bruins

BSJ Game Report: Bruins 5, Islanders 0 — Kuraly scores twice, B’s defense clamps down on New York

Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Everything you need to know from the Bruins’ 5-0 win over the Islanders in quickie form, with BSJ insight and analysis…

Box Score

HEADLINES:

B’s start strong, don’t let up:

What a difference a couple of days can make, eh?

After getting swept on their last road trip in hard-fought matchups against the Penguins, Blue Jackets and Jets, the Bruins opened the scoring just 1:12 into regulation on Tuesday and didn’t let up  — setting the tone at Nassau Coliseum with an 14-2 edge in shots on goal and a 15-1 advantage in scoring chances generated through 20 minutes of play.

Things didn’t get any easier for an Islanders club entering the night in a tie for first place in the Metropolitan Division, as Boston closed out the contest with a dominant 39-13 edge in shots on goal and an absurd plus-20 differential in total scoring chances generated at 5v5 play.

Add in the fact that a forward from every line managed to light the lamp, Tuukka Rask finished with his fourth shutout of the year and Boston’s defensive structure looks much improved from last week — and there’s plenty for Boston to be positive about after a result like this. 

David Pastrnak returns, top-6 dominates:

After missing the last 16 games while on the mend due to thumb surgery, Pastrnak made his return to Boston’s lineup on Tuesday, slotting in on his usual spot with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.

While Pastrnak didn’t notch a point during Tuesday’s win, it was easy to spot the headaches that Boston’s top-six corps doled out on Tuesday to an Islanders defense that ranks first in the league in fewest goals allowed per game.

In 26:01 of 5v5 play that both the Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak and DeBrusk-Krejci-Coyle lines were out on the ice, Boston held a 32-10 lead in shot attempts and a 17-5 edge in shots on goal. Absurd stuff for a pair of lines that could also see some more changes once Marcus Johansson is cleared for a return in the foreseeable future.  

FOUR UP:

Sean Kuraly: After not scoring since all the way back on Jan. 17, Kuraly more than made up for it on Tuesday, lighting the lamp just 1:12 into regulation before adding another tally at 16:17 in the second. Kuraly finished the night with six shots on goal, and gave plenty of jump to a third line that has been re-shuffled since Coyle was promoted into a top-six spot.

Noel Acciari: While Boston’s fourth line was the lone forward trio held to a sub-50.00 CF% through two periods of play, Acciari made the most of the opportunities presented to him, scooping up the puck off a brutal turnover by Cal Clutterbuck and beating Robin Lehner 5-hole for his fourth goal of the season.

Patrice Bergeron: While Pastrnak still had a bit of rust to work through on Tuesday, his center seemed awfully energized by No. 88’s return, as Bergeron tallied his 28th goal of the season and won 13 of his 22 attempts at the face-off dot. With nine games remaining in the regular season, Bergeron is just five points away from tying his career high of points in a season (73, 2005-06 season).

Carlo-Clifton Pair: While the McAvoy-Chara pairing logged most of the minutes on the blue line Tuesday, the grouping of Brandon Carlo and Connor Clifton were also impressive — as Boston held a commanding 14-3 edge in shot attempts during the 16:40 5v5 TOI that both defensemen were out on the ice together.

ONE DOWN:

Matt Martin: I understand the reasoning — as Martin dropped the gloves with Chara right after puck drop in the second period after a woeful start to the game for New York. His heart was in the right place, but man, Martin picked the wrong guy to fight with.

PLAY OF THE GAME:

Jake DeBrusk made things look awfully easy on his 23rd goal of the season.

PARTING THOUGHT:

Nice gesture at Nassau Coliseum, as former Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak was honored with a video tribute.

LOOKING AHEAD:

The Bruins will hang around the Tri-State Area, as Boston will take on the Devils on Thursday in Newark. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.