The Bruins were feeling a little generous Tuesday night and decided to give the Islanders an early Christmas present, handing them two points on TD Garden ice. They shot themselves in the foot four times, resulting in a 4-2 loss to a last place team for the second time in under two weeks.
Just 3:05 into the game, it was apparent that things would not go Boston’s way. Miscommunication caused Tuukka Rask and Brad Marchand to collide behind the net, allowing Anders Lee to score the easiest goal of his career.
A few minutes later, Thomas Hickey beat Rask with a wrister on a three-on-one rush to extend the lead to 2-0. The shitshow was not over there, and it carried into the second period. A Johnny Boychuk dump in trickled towards the net and Nikolay Kulemin jammed the puck past Rask, who failed to properly seal off the post. Following the goal, head coach Claude Julien decided to pull Rask (three goals allowed on 13 shots) from the game in favor of Anton Khudobin. This was the first time Rask had been removed from a game since April 3 versus Chicago.
The Bruins showed some signs of life in the middle frame and pressured Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss, but after ringing the post twice, it seemed as if nothing was going to go their way.
Right off the bat in the third period, the Bruins showed that they would not go down with a fight, and played with desperation. Three minutes into the period, Anton Blidh’s bad-angle shot found its way past Greiss for his first NHL goal, and the building finally had some energy in it.
Boston answered with more dominant shifts, and a Zdeno Chara shot deflected off of Dominic Moore and into the net to make it a 3-2 game. The Garden crowd was ready to explode, as momentum was 100% on the Bruins side, and the tying goal seemed inevitable.
After a near-perfect first 12+ minutes of the third, Kevan Miller took a tripping penalty and the Islanders made him pay, scoring an insurance goal to secure the 4-2 win.
- This is the type of game that comes back to haunt you at the end of the season. They gave away two points, no other way to put it. Boston missed the playoffs by three points last season, and two the year before. Every point matters.
- The Bruins outshot the Islanders, 50-29, in this game. They are third in the league with an average off 33.8 shots/game this season, yet are tied for 20th with 80 goals for.
- Jimmy Hayes is starting to look much better. He has been using his body much more effectively the past couple of games, and it is resulting in offensive opportunities. He had six shots on goal, including one that led to an assist (his first of the season) on Moore’s goal. He has a goal and an assist in his last two games. Don’t let Big Jim get hot.
- Boston’s home record fell to 8-9-0 on the season. Unfortunately, the Garden is not the tough place to play that it once was. The B’s are 1-4 in their past five games on home ice, which includes losses to the last place teams in both conferences and a blown 2-0 lead against the Ducks.
- Former Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg made his return to the Garden for the first time since signing with NYI in the offseason. He was greeted by a tribute video and a standing ovation by the fans. Very well deserved. The German Hammer was rock solid during his time in Boston, and was a key piece to the Cup-winning team in 2011.
[Photo via NHL.com]