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Bruins 3, Islanders 1 (EN): Just not enough tonight

Though it wasn’t the best Isles effort, they managed to hang in until the refs got in the way...

NHL: New York Islanders at Boston Bruins
Despite his best efforts, the Isles couldn’t get it done in Boston.
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

This wasn’t the best game for the New York Islanders, not only because of the final scoreline but also because of stretches of poor play where they where hemmed into their own zone. However, they stayed in the game thanks to another strong performance by Robin Lehner, and ultimately poor officiating and an offside challenge made the difference for the Boston Bruins as they celebrated the loathsome New England Patriots victory and Patrice Bergeron’s 1000th NHL game.

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

First Period

At the start of the game, the Islanders found themselves on the power play after David Backes was called for a delay. They failed to convert, then were stuck in a cycle of killing penalties with the Bruins earning practically consecutive power plays off of penalties from Brock Nelson, Ryan Pulock, and Scott Mayfield. Ultimately, thanks to good play by the penalty killers and especially by Robin Lehner, who notably made a big save on David Krejci. The Bruins looked far more dominant in the period, and the Isles more frustrated, evidenced by Leo Komarov trying to pick a fight with Torey Krug after Krug took an extra shot on Lehner.

The Isles were fortunate to close out the period 0-0.

Second Period

Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak were on a breakaway, and Lehner was able to make a big save on a Pastrnak attempt, but Patrice Bergeron got to the loose puck and opened the scoring for the Bruins.

Tuukka Rask helped keep the Bruins in the lead, with a big save on Cizikas and a save on Lee on the power play after Brandon Carlo went to the box. The Isles earned another power play after Chris Wagner got two for slashing, and Jordan Eberle beat Rask from the side of the net to tie the game.

Robin Lehner made a few great saves to close out the period.

Third Period

It seemed like the Islanders took the lead after a fantastic Devon Toews rush led to a Cal Clutterbuck goal, but the Bruins challenged for offside and after a lengthy review, had the goal overturned. Shortly after, Peter Cehlarik gave the Bruins the lead.

The refereeing was frankly terrible in this game, and it blatantly hurt the Islanders when, instead of calling two minors on the two players who committed them, a double minor was called on Matt Grzelcyk, giving the Isles a four minute 5 on 4 rather than a two minute 5 on 3. The Isles struggled on the man advantage, and weren’t helped by the Bruins getting away with interference and too many men on the ice during the power play.

With a little over a minute remaining, Lehner went to the bench for the extra attacker, but Patrice Bergeron scored on the empty net, giving the Bruins the 3-1 win.

Quick Thoughts

  • Once again, Robin Lehner played lights out. There was a nervy moment when it looked like Lehner might be injured, but he continued and played the entire game. Hopefully that’s the end of that and it won’t be anything to worry about further.
  • I’m an Anthony Beauvillier fan, but he does not deserve to be in the top six based on his recent play. I wonder if Trotz would try switching Michael Dal Colle and Beau for a few games.
  • Devon Toews looked fantastic on the unfortunately ruled offside rush, and that was one of the best sequences of play by the Isles in these past few games.

Up Next

Next, the Islanders head to New Jersey to take on the Devils. The Devils sit in last in the Metropolitan Division, and were smacked tonight by the Los Angeles Kings, losing 5-1. Last time these teams met, the Islanders cruised to a 4-1 win. Let’s get another one of those.