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Islanders 4, Bruins 0: Isles, Greiss rebound for franchise’s first shutout in Boston

Missing Clutterbuck, Ladd, Isles plumbers carry the load.

NHL: New York Islanders at Boston Bruins
Kulemin, you rask-al you.
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

When the Islanders choose to try the Tuukka, they really feast on some Tuukka.

For the second time this winter, the New York Islanders sent Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask out of the game early — his only two pulls this season — with a burst of three goals in a 5:20 span late in the second period.

The first goal was all they needed as Thomas Greiss earned his first shutout of the season in a 4-0 matinee sleeper, the Islanders’ first-ever shutout in Boston.

It was a significant rebound from their embarrassing 7-4 loss in Raleigh Saturday night. And it all came with some makeshift lines as the Islanders were missing wingers Cal Clutterbuck and Andrew Ladd, in addition to already injured defenseman Travis Hamonic.

[Game Sum | Event Sum | Natural Stat Trick | HockeyViz]

The afternoon didn’t begin so eventfully. The first period was a tepid, lethargic affair where each team attempted to outsnooze the other and make 17,565 people wonder why they chose this as their holiday activity. Shots were 7-3 for Boston after the first 20.

That was followed by an ominous start to the second period, as the Isles burned a power play in which all three shots on goal came from the penalty killing Bruins.

They were better after that, however, and the period ended up being a more lively exchange of shots between the team than the moribund, conservative first. Things were still up in the air until a five-minute sequence beginning at the 13:18 mark when the Isles netted three goals and ended Rask’s afternoon.

Only one of the goals was a laugher for Rask, a Josh Bailey bad-angle shot sandwiched between two Nikolay Kulemin goals.

Kulemin was set up by Casey Cizikas for both goals, the first of which he roofed from the left low circle, the second of which he converted from the same spot after Cizikas was stopped by Rask on a breakaway but alert enough to stop, corral the puck and feed his linemate.

Bailey’s goal was the kind of turnaround, no look sweep at the net you score on your little brother when he’s still learning the game.

After Kulemin’s second strike made it 3-0, Rask stayed in for the remaining minute and change of the second period. But Zane McIntyre replaced him for the third period and gave up one goal on 12 shots, a shorthanded breakaway by Jason Chimera after he stripped Brad Marchand at the point.

And that was that. Bruins fans booed their team, the Isles saw the game out rather easily, and Greiss finished with a 27- 32-save shutout — a decent amount of work but a very light day by the Isles’ recent standards.

Up Next

Still in last place, the Isles now head back to Brooklyn for a six-game homestand that begins Thursday with the Stars, who lost 3-1 today in Buffalo.