BOSTON -- The New York Islanders defeated the Bruins 2-1 on Thursday night at the TD Garden, and the difference-maker was a shot that Tuukka Rask probably wishes he could have back.
Josh Bailey's shot with 6:48 left in the second that somehow snuck under Rask's arm and made it over the goal line. Bailey came down the left wing uncontested and snapped one off from the left circle that Rask initially stopped, but it got through him and just barely trickled over the goal line as he thought he had it handled.
It came 10 minutes after Tyler Seguin tied the game at 1-1, as he took a cross-slot pass from Greg Campbell and absolutely sniped the top-left corner with a wrist-shot from the low-left circle with less than a minute left on a Bruins power play.
It answered an Islanders goal that came with just 20.5 seconds left in the first period, as Bailey put a slap shot to the top-right corner after receiving a drop pass from Mark Streit at the top of the left circle.
"I thought our first period was great," coach Claude Julien said after the game. "We just ran out of gas. They were a more rested team."
TALKING POINTS, from CSNNE Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty
GOLD STAR: A pair of goals and three shots on net in 17:12 of ice time for Josh Bailey, and he probably could have at least a couple more if not for some remarkable Tuukka Rask saves throughout the game. The second goal was especially impressive as he worked around Adam McQuaid and then found a way to sneak a shot through Rask’s pads for the game-winning score. On a team like the Isles, where everybody is preoccupied with John Tavares and Matt Moulson, a player like Bailey that can provide some offensive support could truly make them a handful come playoff-time.
BLACK EYE: Milan Lucic had more giveaways than shots on net, and exerted zero physical presence on the ice. Nathan Horton was on the ice for two goals against and finished with zero hits and two shots on net in 15:56 of ice time. Both players were extreme non-factors for the Bruins and continue to play invisible hockey while the Bruins badly need them without Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron in the lineup. It’s hard to figure out what’s going on with Lucic, who wasn’t playing physical or aggressive in the offensive end but still had enough energy to attempt a no-look, back-to-the-net, cross-ice pass from the left faceoff circle in the first period. That’s just not even close to his game.
TURNING POINT: The Bruins got hemmed into their own end for the first few minutes of the second period, and it set a tone that Boston had trouble escaping after a promising first period. The B's did tie the game up with a power-play goal, but the only way they were winning this one was by converting on some of their 16 shots in the first period or playing 60 minutes of mistake-free hockey. They did neither of those things.
HONORABLE MENTION: Tyler Seguin had some pretty good jump, scored the team’s only goal of the night on a power-play strike from the bottom of the left faceoff circle and finished the night with four shots on net. As far as the forwards still out on the ice, with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron both out with concussions, that was an All-Star performance and was a strong showing after the 21-year-old also notched the game-winning goal on Wednesday night in New Jersey.
BY THE NUMBERS: 1-6-1 – the Bruins’ record this season when playing the third game in four nights as they were on Thursday night against the New York Islanders. They also finished the season with a 2-5-0 record in the second game of back-to-backs this year.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “I’m going to say a 4-0 win with a goal from each line and under 25 shots against . . .then I’ll say we’re good to go. Listen, I don’t think there’s an absolute thing written on the board of statistics, but right now we’re happy with the progress we’re making.” –Tyler Seguin, when asked when he’ll know his team is ready to go for the playoffs.