Everything you need to know from the Bruins’ 4-1 win over the Islanders in quickie form, with BSJ insight and analysis:
After losing their first five games against the Islanders, something had to give, right?
Despite rolling out a severely undermanned D corps once again, Boston opened its matchup against the Islanders on Thursday with haymaker after haymaker in the first period — setting the tone in what was ultimately a convincing 4-1 victory over New York at TD Garden.
Brad Marchand scored twice and Craig Smith buried another power-play goal for Boston — while Taylor Hall scored his first goal as a Bruin to give Boston some breathing room in the third period. Tuukka Rask made his return after missing 17 of the last 18 games due to injury, with the B's netminder stopping 22 of the 23 shots that came his way en route to his 300th career victory.
The Bruins picked a good time to put together their most dominant period of the season — outshooting the Isles, 23-7 and attempting an absurd 33 shots against Semyon Varlamov in what was ultimately a two-tally frame for the home club. It took a video review to confirm it, but Marchand was credited with his 20th goal of the season after he deflected a Mike Reilly point shot home just 1:49 into the contest. Boston padded its lead later in the period on the power play, with Smith extending his point streak to six straight games with his snipe from the slot off of a feed from David Krejci
As expected, the Isles answered back in the middle frame, with Travis Zajac scoring the lone goal of the frame at 2:56 — but if it wasn't for the play of Varlamov in net, things could have been very ugly — with Boston holding a commanding 11-0 edge in high-danger scoring chances through the first two periods.
Finally, Boston got the insurance it needed in the third, with Hall breaking in the O-zone, shielding the puck from Adam Pelech and snapping it past Varlamov for his first goal since March 4. Marchand added an empty-netter for his second goal of the night — with Boston closing things out with a 32-12 advantage in scoring chances during 5v5 play.
Given the circumstances (with Boston soldiering without Matt Grzelcyk, Brandon Carlo and Kevan Miller against a top contender in the East Division) you couldn't ask for a better win for the B's tonight.