Although the Boston Bruins defeated the New York Islanders by a final score of 5-2, it was not that bad a trouncing by any stretch. In fact, two of Boston's goals were failed attempts to even up the score.
Boston did, however, control the puck much of the game. While one goal was a fluke, another was a wide open oopsy on Rick DiPietro's part and the two empty-netters, the Bruins will take it and run. The Islanders' goals were that of a penalty shot and a six-on-five play.
Overall, Tuukka Rask played very well and the team overall played very well in front of him, which generally results in wins for your team. I think the Bruins are actually getting this fact.
While Tim Thomas has been lights-out for the Bruins this year, the traditionally defensive-minded team have not been the same defensively overall.
As of late, however, there have been some flashes of improvement with some of the team returning and getting their wheels back under their feet. As some players will tell you, it's hard to get the game plan going when your roster changes and you have to now get those returning or new players replacing traded or injured players on the same page.
Marc Savard finally getting back into the game earned his first point of the season with an assist on the aforementioned fluke goal made by Milan Lucic. Savard won the face off and got the puck right on Lucic who shot the puck to Dipietro's right side, off the post, back on his right skate and in.
Do you think Rask is up to the task?
The Islanders tie it up with a penalty shot earned by Patrice Bergeron tripping Frans Nielson on the breakaway. Nielson made a beauty of a backhand on Rask roofing it high right side on the backhand. The goal was counted as a shorthanded penalty shot.
Brad Marchand, the Bruins' turnover specialist made a shorthanded goal of his own. As he was going for the puck on his own, DiPietro skated far out to challenge him and lost.
The clearing attempt hit Marchand square and the puck went with him leaving him, the puck and the net all alone. Marchand was fully aware of the time and space he had and took his time (relatively) to get it right as he backhanded it to regain the lead.
This was Marchand's third shorthanded goal and now shares the league lead with Philadelphia Flyers' Claude Giroux. Bruins 2-1.
Micheal Ryder scored with just a second left on a power play to extend the lead. Andrew Ference got a shot off from the right face off circle and Ryder was right in front of the net to tip it in and add to the lead to make it 3-1 Bruins.
The Islanders got it back to one goal as they empty the net to get the extra attacker. It didn't take long as Rob Schremp was directly to the front-left of Rask and made no mistake to wrist it in. Bruins up 3-2.
The Islanders try the extra attacker again, but this time, it burned them as Lucic got the puck inside the Bruins' zone center and he snapped it down the other end to make it 4-2.
Just 58 seconds later and the dying seconds, David Krejci skated down the center of the ice and had Bergeron to his right. Krejci passed it to Bergeron who buried the second empty-netter to tally the final score of 5-2 for the Bruins.
Both goalies played well as they both stopped 35 shots. The difference between these two was the mental error on DiPietro on challenging the rushing Marchand. It was a mistake that cost the Islanders a goal and, quite possibly, the momentum.
Next up for the Bruins, is another matchup with the Philadelphia Flyers. When they last met, it was a 3-0 shutout for Boston at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The Flyers look to return the favor as they take them on at the Garden in Boston.
This is Cory Ducey saying "Hit Hard, But Keep It Clean."