Bruins sink Islanders, 4-2


Bruins sink Islanders, 4-2

BOSTON -- It came down to the third period, but Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron's third-period goals helped the Bruins defeat the New York Islanders 4-2 on Friday night at the TD Garden.

Chara gave the Bruins a 3-2 lead just over seven minutes into the third period, after he sniped the top-left corner with a wrist shot from the left point.

Then, with 6:27 left in the game, Bergeron steps in on a breakaway and finishes with a deke to his right, slipping the puck past the extended left pad of Rick DiPietro, making it 4-2 B's. Bergeron finished a perfect breakout that started with a Dougie Hamilton cross-ice pass to Brad Marchand, who then found Bergeron wide open streaking down the middle of the ice.

The goal marked Hamilton's second assist of the game, and sealed the deal on Boston's third win of the season.

The Bruins tied the game at 2-2 with 6:18 left in the second period, after Greg Campbell knocked in a loose puck that had bounced out to him off the skate of Islanders defenseman Joe Finley. David Krejci caused the loose puck after throwing it towards the net from the top of the left circle. The puck never got to the net, and Campbell finished.

The Islanders scored two goals -- both by Keith Aucoin after Shawn Thornton had initially given the Bruins an early 1-0 lead, five minutes into the first period.

The first New York goal came with 8:47 left in the first period, as Aucoin busted down the middle of the ice and caught a pass in the slot from Colin McDonald. Aucoin caught pretty much all of the Bruins sleeping and flat-footed, and Aucoin beat everyone to open space and buried a one-timer to tie the game at 1-1.

Aucoin's second gave the Islanders a 2-1 lead midway through the second period. In similar fashion, Aucoin got a puck in open space and beat Tuukka Rask. Only this time, he was able to step into this slap shot and let go a rocket that beat Rask top-right.

GOLD STAR: The fourth line gets the nod as well a fourth line Fribble courtesy of Mike Felger after helping prop up the Bruins with a pair of goals in the first two periods while the rest of the team was out of synch according to Claude Julien. Shawn Thornton picked up his first strike of the season while shoveling in a backhanded rebound of a Dougie Hamilton shot, and Gregory Campbell flipped home another rebound after a David Krejci tester bounced off Joe Finleys skate right to the fourth line center. They also brought the thunder as displayed by Daniel Paille when he crushed Brian Strait in the corner prompting to Thornton to protect his linemate. Thornton earned a 10-minute misconduct for intervening, but the Bruins energy line lived up to their billing after kicking themselves for a goal allowed in Wednesday nights loss to the Rangers.

BLACK EYE: Another unproductive night for the Bruins third line as they allowed a goal while they were on the ice and managed to cobble together only a single shot combined between Chris Bourque, Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley. Peverley did hit a post in the third period on the first real signs of offensive life for him on the season, but Kelly has been very quiet thus far for the Bruins. Bourque made a nice play to break up a scoring attempt for Keith Aucoin in the first period on a hustling back-check and showed good life and jump on the second power play unit, but now only has one shot on net in four games for the Bruins.

HONORABLE MENTION: Dougie Hamilton was given No. 1 star honors for the first multi-point game of his career and its tough to argue with the choice given how much he factored in the offense. It was one of his long bombs from the right point that created a rebound Shawn Thornton was able to pounce on for the Bs first goal, and his heads up outlet pass created some fast break hockey in the third period that ended with a Patrice Bergeron partial breakaway for a goal. He also nearly had a goal on a third period rocket, but instead the shot clanged off Rick DiPietros head, so the search for his first NHL goal will go on.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins finally got untracked in the third period after looking sluggish and lackadaisical for the first 40 minutes, but perhaps that was bound to happen with the Bs catching the Islanders on the second night of a back-to-back situation. They managed to turn up the pressure on the Islanders, and finally broke open the tie with Zdeno Charas game-winner from slot little more than seven minutes into the third period.

BY THE NUMBERS: 10 the number of combined hits and blocked shots totaled by Dennis Seidenberg in his first game back after missing two games with a lower body injury. The Bruins miss his toughness and willingness to sacrifice his body when hes not in there.

QUOTE TO NOTE: It definitely wasnt our best game here tonight, those first 40 minutes. But we were able to grind it out and keep it 2-2 after two, and give ourselves a chance to win in the third. It was good to see us have that killer instinct and go out there and win the game. Milan Lucic on a game from the Bruins that wont win any beauty contests, but still got them the two points.

Joe Haggerty contributed portions of this story.

Friday, Oct. 28: Can Kane ignite Toews?


Friday, Oct. 28: Can Kane ignite Toews?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while probably remaining as the only person that hasn’t seen this David S. Pumpkins thing on Saturday Night Live yet. 

*Patrick Kane is hoping that he can help ignite Jonathan Toews, and the offense that’s been lagging in his game thus far. 

*PHT writer James O’Brien has the Detroit Red Wings rolling as the Bruins head into Joe Louis Arena for a potentially rough Saturday night showdown. 

*The new Las Vegas expansion franchise is apparently going to get a preview window for NHL free agency in June ahead of the other 30 teams. 

*Here are some early season adjustment possibilities for your fantasy hockey team if they’ve struggled out of the gate. 

*Big Rangers defenseman Dylan McIlrath was waived and clears through unclaimed by the other 29 teams this week. 

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Gary Lawless has the tangled path ahead for Jacob Trouba as he’s the last of the unsigned RFA players waiting to get moved somewhere. 

*I could have lived a perfectly fine life without having to read about Ulf Samuelsson becoming an up-and-coming coach in the AHL. 

*For something completely different: the Prince Museum has officially opened at Paisley Park in Minnesota. 


Pastrnak suspended two games for hit on Rangers' Girardi


Pastrnak suspended two games for hit on Rangers' Girardi

Bruins forward David Pastrnak has been suspended for two games by the NHL for an illegal check to the head of New York Rangers' Dan Girardi in Boston’s 5-2 loss on Wednesday night in New York.

Those around the Bruins, as you might expect, aren’t happy about the ruling on a hit that was definitely borderline and authored by a player who has barely registered any kind of hits in the first few seasons of his young career. 

Click on the link in the tweet below for a video of the hit and the NHL Department of Player Safety's explanation of the suspension, but this is the gist: Pastrnak “made head contact on a play where head contact was clearly avoidable” and the Bruins forward “unnecessarily extended up and into the head” of Girardi on the collision. 

Claude Julien took issue with the Pastrnak hit being labeled dirty and clearly didn’t quite understand why his young star was even having a hearing over a mid-ice collision that simply looked like a strong hit through the body as the main point of contact when viewed in slow-motion.

“To me I see a guy [in David Pastrnak] whose feet are still on the ice. Sometimes players are in vulnerable positions, and sometimes it’s their own doing other times it’s just a part of the game, and you do what you have to do there. But I don’t think there was any attempt to injure the player there. I just think that was an attempt to finish his check, but certainly not to injure,” said Julien. “His foot is on the ice. You can see the snow coming off his blade, so it’s not like he never slowed down with the foot that was on the ice. 

“He didn’t go full tilt. He tried to control his check. If you look at it in slow-motion it’s pretty self-explanatory: he doesn’t jump up and he goes through [the body]. When you go through body eventually the skates do come up with the flow [of the hit], but he didn’t jump up in the air and land on the guy.”

The two-game suspension is Pastrnak’s first brush with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. Clearly, the DoPS felt that the 20-year-old did make contact with Girardi’s head and that it was Pastrnak’s responsibility to make sure there wasn’t any contact to the head in such a violent collision. While some might have argued it should have been a one-game suspension, the DoPS usually doesn’t go any less than two games in suspensions involving checks to the head. 

Some of it might come down to Pastrnak just being unfamiliar with exactly how to deliver a clean, hard body check in that situation, given his inexperience playing that kind of game. Conventional thinking was that his first-time offender status would have got him with a stern warning from the league. 

But there’s also a bright side to this entire Pastrnak suspension situation, believe it or not. 

It’s been plainly obvious Pastrnak is playing more of a physical game at close to 190 pounds entering this season, and it’s a part of the driving force behind his strong start with a team-leading five goals in seven games this season. The Bruins will miss him for the next two games, Saturday in Detroit and Tuesday in Florida, but they’ll benefit from a player in Pastrnak that’s no longer shying away from the battle or hesitating to stick his nose in there while playing a key top-six role. 

The Bruins  were facing an uphill battle against both divisional opponents prior to the NHL suspending Pastrnak for the games. 

The hit came when Girardi reached up to catch a puck in the neutral zone 10:55 into the second period and Pastrnak came in hard and sent his left shoulder into Girardi’s chin. Pastrnak received a two-minute penalty for an illegal check to the head. Girardi left the game as part of the NHL concussion protocol, but later returned with no apparent injury.