The New York Islanders defeated the Boston Bruins 4-2 despite being out-possessed and out-shot throughout the game. Thomas Greiss stood on his head to keep the Islanders in the game, and Anders Lee’s two goals tonight, giving him 12 on the season, helped the Isles start and finish the game strong on the scoresheet. It was also Dennis Seidenberg’s first game back in Boston, and he was able to come away with a win from the team that bought him out at the end of last season.
Dennis Seidenberg recognized in-arena during the TV timeout & fans show their appreciation with a standing ovation. pic.twitter.com/lAKMIGzx5q— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) December 21, 2016
In The First
Despite the Islanders only having a 26.47 (!!!!!) CF% at 5 on 5 in the period, they were able to score two goals in the first period to erase what was actually a terrible period. The Isles scored early when Brad Marchand bumped into Tuukka Rask, who was retrieving the puck from behind the net. The puck was left all alone and Anders Lee put the Isles up 1-0.
The Islanders scored their second goal of the period off a 3 on 1 rush. Thomas Hickey brought the puck in and used John Tavares as a decoy while faking a pass. Zdeno Chara took the bait, as did Rask, and Hickey took a shot and scored.
Tuukka’s Night Off
In the second period, Johnny Boychuk shot the puck from slightly past center ice, where it took a big carom off the boards. Nikolai Kulemin got to the puck first and was able to just tap it past an unprepared Rask. Claude Julien felt that Rask just wasn’t in the game tonight, and replaced him with Anton Khudobin.
Rask lets up another softie, Kulemin on the forecheck stuffs it home. 3-0 at 6:18. Khudobin coming in.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) December 21, 2016
The Most Dangerous Lead In Hockey
21-year-old Bruins rookie Anton Blidh scored his first NHL goal early in the third period, with a no angle shot that deflected off Nick Leddy. At some point, it feels less like the Islanders are unlucky with pucks going in off their players, and more and more like the defensive scheme is just completely disorganized in more ways than one.
In typical Islanders fashion, a three-goal lead means nothing. Chara took a shot from a tough angle, and the puck deflected off of Dominic Moore and past Thomas Greiss.
Chara, 3-2 at 7:12. Hideous shift by 16-10-25 leads to BOS zone time, turnover and Chara goal on long rebound.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) December 21, 2016
Jack Capuano decided to a call a timeout to help his reeling team, but the Bruins continued to press the Islanders even more than before, needing some key saves from Thomas Greiss to maintain the 3-2 lead.
Shane Prince drew a penalty on a weak call on Kevan Miller for tripping, and quickly after, Anders Lee scored after driving to the net, as Khudobin couldn’t handle Josh Bailey’s point shot.
The Islanders were able to hold onto the 4-2 lead, helped by a late power play to kill off the rest of the period with a man advantage. Thomas Greiss, who was phenomenal, made 21 saves in the third period alone, and faced 50 shots in total.
The New York Islanders take on the Buffalo Sabres and some old friends in Matt Moulson and Kyle Okposo at the Barclays Center on Friday, December 23rd. The Sabres will be coming off a game against the Carolina Hurricanes the night before, but the team will still pose a challenge to the Islanders, who they defeated in overtime earlier this season in Buffalo.