UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The Bruins certainly felt like they’d played a style more closely resembling that of the Islanders than their own in a high-scoring, fast-paced affair that saw Boston take a 6-3 win Monday night at the Nassau Coliseum.
It was the second straight game that the Black and Gold’s offense powered up for six goals after reaching the same mark just once in their first 49 games of the season. Some of that is a byproduct of all four forward lines beginning to gel together. Some of that was the result of some loose defense, careless mistakes with the puck, and some shifts that will probably end up in the “bad” video reel for the coaches.
“It’s not a game that we want to play, or that we like to play,” admitted Patrice Bergeron, despite his two points, plus-1 rating and eight shot attempts in a solid effort amid the chaos. “They’re a team that likes that. They’re a team that has a lot of speed, and some great offense on their side.
“That run-and-gun type of game isn’t our style, and they take advantage of us a few times. But Chad [Johnson] made some huge saves for us, and I thought in the third period it was more our style of game.”
That was all erased by the PBR Line (Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, Reilly Smith) accounting for three goals, and spearheading an offense that’s a seemingly at maximum output against the Metro Division. Marchand finished with four points and was a sterling plus-3 for the game, but he also knew the defense wasn’t good enough despite helping to hold John Tavares to zero points and a minus-2 for the game.
“It’s obviously nice when goals are coming, but these games are nerve-wracking,” said Marchand. “You never know how they’re going to end up. It could be 2-2 and then one team explodes and it’s a 6-3 [score] like it was for us tonight.
“But it’s tough if it goes the other way. We’re not big fans of playing games like this, but when we win, I guess we’ll take it.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien will probably accept it as a one game aberration against an Islanders team with arguably the best first line in the entire NHL, but he will be sure to remind the Bruins that Boston is a much better team when they’re playing a slightly duller, more controlled brand of hockey.