It was hard to tell if the Boston Bruins dominance of the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday Night was just the Bruins excited to end their five game roadie or if the Islanders are just that bad…
…or is it that the Bruins are just that good?
Brad Marchand scored the game winner just :38 seconds into the 2nd period and Tuukka Rask stopped 36 of 37 shots he faced as the Bruins stomped the Islanders 4-1 in Uniondale, New York.
Perhaps the most complete victory of this abbreviated season, the Bruins physically beat the Islanders – beat them down the ice, beat them on the scoreboard and beat them on the boards. David Krejci and tough guy Adam McQuaid also scored goals on Islanders’ goalie Evgeni Nabokov while Rask allowed one, a tip in off a rebound by Casey Cizikas.
McQuaid started the scoring, a slapshot from the top of the right circle off a feed from Tyler Seguin that Evengi almost had, but it dribbled through his pads to give Boston a 1-0 lead at 6:43 of the 1st.
Nine minutes later Cizikas tied the score as teammate Josh Bailey cut in front of the net and tried to get a backhander past Rask who blocked it but couldn’t control the rebound and Cizikas slapped it in through the one hole to knot the score at 1-1.
With the score still tied at 1-1 and barely into play in the 2nd period, Marchand became the little ball of rebound, backhanding a rebound into an open net as Nabokov had no time to recover from blocking Patrice Bergeron’s drive from the right point. Krejci made it 3-1 five minutes later with a wicked drive off a perfect feed from Milan Lucic, easily beating Nabokov.
After gaining the 2 goal advantage, the Bruins began punishing the Islanders in earnest, and the Boston penalty kill – which now has denied a power play goal on 24 consecutive short handed situations – had to kill off four penalties as a result of their aggressiveness.
Rask was up to the task all evening, making spectacular save after incredible save as the desperate Islanders started taking chances to get the puck in front of the Bruins’ net, which they managed to do 13 times in the final frame, Rask stoning all.
Gregory Campbell finished the scoring for Boston with an empty netter with just over a minute remaining as the Bruins raised their record to 12-2-2, continuing their best start in franchise history.
Despite the great start, the Bruins are still in a log jam with 26 points, one behind the hated Montreal Canadiens, whom the Bruins host on Sunday, but first the Bruins have to get past the Ottawa Senators on Thursday and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday before getting the conference leading Habs.
The Islanders fall to 8-11-1 and just 2-8-0 at home, where they remain for games against the Toronto Maple leafs on Thursday night and Ottawa on Sunday before rounding out their seven game homestand with the Habs, Rangers and Caps next week.