Bruins celebrate on their way to a blowout win against the Islanders. (Photo credit: Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)
The Boston Bruins have enjoyed a lot of success against the New York Islanders over the years, including a 16-4-1 record against the Isles coming into this season. This year however, the Bruins are winless in two meetings against the Islanders. In their last meeting on New Year’s Eve, the Bruins allowed four power-play goals on their way to blowing a 3-1 lead. After allowing the worst team in the Metropolitan division to comeback from a two goal deficit in their last game, the Bruins needed to be ready for the Islanders not to roll over despite being down early to a superior team. Unlike their last meeting, the Bruins were ready for that push back and continued scoring even after the Islanders answered.
Boston had leads of 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2 in the game, but each time the resilient Islanders came back a few minutes later to tie the game. After the Islanders Kyle Okposo tied the game at 3-3 late in the second period, it looked as though the Bruins would once again be unable to put away the Islanders.
With under one minute left in the second, the Bruins once again took the lead, but this time they were able to hold on to it for good. Carl Soderberg came barreling down the right side of the ice past Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey. Then, Soderberg protected the puck nicely on his backhand as he cut in front of goal and ripped a wrist shot past goalie Kevin Poulin.
The last couple of games, with Ryan Spooner battling injury, Soderberg has been back at the center position where he played for 10 seasons in Sweden. Playing back in his natural position, Soderberg has looked much better the past two games.
After killing off a penalty to start the third period, Boston was able to pad their lead thanks to another great shift by their second line. Patrice Bergeron battled behind the Islanders goal just long enough for Brad Marchand to skate in and win possession of the puck. As Marchand made his way around goal to the right faceoff dot, he found Bergeron who had skated to the low slot. With an Islanders skater draped all over him, Bergeron managed to get snap shot off, beating Poulin high glove side.
The goal by Bergeron was another point scored by the Bruins second line that has been on fire as of late. Bergeron, Marchand, and Reilly Smith each scored a goal in the game, and combined for eight points in the game. New York had no answers for the Bergeron-Marchand-Smith line who have played a big role in the Bruins last two blowout wins. “We’re feeling good right now. We have some good confidence, and we’re moving the puck well. When we do that, we’re creating some chances for ourselves,” Bergeron said after the game.
Although the game’s outcome was no longer in doubt, the Bruins sixth and final goal was still an important one. After Marchand was able to keep possession in the offensive zone, he found Zdeno Chara waiting just inside the Islanders blue line. Chara let a wrist shot go and the puck deflected off of Poulin’s stick into his goal. For Chara, it was his 500th career point, the first of which came with the Islanders in the ’97-’98 season.
After two impressive wins against the Flyers and Islanders, Boston will face the Florida Panthers tonight who are coming off a 5-4 win in Detroit. Trying to win their fourth game in a row and extend their point streak to 6-games, the Bruins will likely have Tuukka Rask in net after Chad Johnson got the start in the game against New York.
The Bruins have six more games until the Olympic break, five of which will be at home.