After a long-awaited victory over the Washington Capitals Sunday that snapped an incredible 14-game losing streak against the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Bruins were back in action Tuesday to host the New York Islanders, where the club celebrated Patrice Bergeron's 1,000th career NHL game. lalala
Cause for Celebration
The New England Patriots started off Tuesday night on the right foot, dropping the puck at center ice prior to Patrice Bergeron's 1,000th National Hockey League game. At the first break in play the Bruins paid tribute to Bergeron with a short video, along with a standing ovation from the Garden faithful.
During the second stop in play, the Bruins then recognized the recent accomplishment of goaltender Tuukka Rask, who won his 253rd game Sunday with a shutout against the Capitals, setting the franchise record for most wins as a netminder.
The Bruins failed to convert the early buzz in TD Garden into goals on the score sheet, despite being awarded three power plays in the first 20 minutes of action. The B's managed to out-shoot the Islanders by just three shots, 10-7 in the period, as the two teams headed to intermission tied at zero.
Who Else But Patrice?
The Bruins would finally find the back of the net just 2:32 into the second period when Brad Marchand threw a pass in front of the Islanders' net to David Pastrnak on the rush. Islanders' goaltender Robin Lehner was able to slide across and make the initial save, but could not recover in time to keep a Bergeron rebound attempt from crossing the goal line.
Nearly 15 minutes would elapse in the period before the next goal of the game. With 3:20 left on the clock Jordan Eberle would sneak a shot past Rask on from a bad angle on the power play to tie the game 1-1.
Rask, who had made a number of important saves throughout the period leading up to the goal, including shutting down an attempt from noted goal scorer Anders Lee point-blank in front of the net, was unable to seal off the near post on the second New York power play of the period.
The score would remain tied heading into the third period. The Islanders out-shot the Bruins 11-9 in the period.
A Sluggish Start
The Islanders were clearly the better team in the opening minutes of the third period. They buzzed the Bruins' zone, forcing the B's defense to turnover the puck and scramble to make plays to get the puck across their own blue line.
All of this chaos culminated with what appeared to be a New York goal 4:52 into the period off the stick of Cal Clutterbuck. The play would be challenged and eventually deemed offsides after lengthy review from the NHL.
Boston received a noticeable jolt of energy from the overturned goal call. The extended break in play seemingly gave the B's a chance to compose themselves, and in the following minutes the Bruins were able to apply pressure that eventually resulted in a Peter Cehlarik go-ahead goal.
There would be no looking back after the second Bruins goal of the night. Following the Cehlarik goal, the Islanders would pull Lehner in an attempt to tie the game late. The result? An incredible act of sportsman shift from a linemate.
The game could have hardly been written any better. The Islanders played one hell of a game, and it is no wonder why they have taken the league by storm atop the Metropolitan Division. Boston started the period sloppy, caught a break along with some stellar goaltending, and found a way to come out on top.
The win propelled Boston into the third place spot in the Atlantic Division (if only for a moment as Montreal defeated the free-falling Anaheim Ducks to reclaim their territory). However, the second place Toronto Maple Leafs are feeling the heat at 67 points, with Montreal and Boston one and two points behind respectively.
The Bruins head to the Big Apple to face off against the New York Rangers Wednesday night for the second night of back-to-back games at Madison Square Garden. Puck drop is set for 8pm EST.
Photo: (Boston Bruins via Twitter)