BOSTON – Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins tied with the New York Islanders 3-3 after the first 40 minutes of New Year’s Eve action at TD Garden:
1) The Bruins entered the night with the NHL’s third ranked PK unit and had allowed two power-play goals in their past 10 games. Those stats will take a beating with the Bruins allowing three power play goals to the Islanders through two periods. Costly mistakes creating penalties and a some sloppy penalty killing giving a mediocre NYI power play all kinds of chances.
2) Bruins really seemed to ease up after pushing it to a 3-1 lead with two goals in 25 seconds. They probably thought the Islanders would buckle, but that hasn’t happened at all as we head into the third period tied.
3) Great game for Patrice Bergeron: a power play goal and 15-of-19 face-off wins in 13:34 of ice time to go along with four generated shot attempts. He smoked the one-timer off a sweet Ryan Spooner pass for the power play strike.
4) Speaking of Spooner, he has the softest hands I’ve seen in a Bruins uniform since Marc Savard was running around in Black and Gold. He controlled things on that power play with the puck on his stick like Velcro before feeding a waiting Bergeron for the one-time strike. Spooner has been pretty good after an off game in Ottawa on Saturday night.
5) Two goals for Frans Nielsen on a pair of shots from the slot area. A couple of the Isles’ power play goals have taken fortunate bounces for them (one of Chara’s skate to Nielsen in front, and the Kyle Okposo centering pass went off Brad Marchand’s stick and into the net), but that doesn’t excuse a Bruins team that packed it in after they took a two goal lead.
Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins leading the Islanders, 1-0:
1) The beat goes on for the David Krejci line. Krejci gathered the rebound of a Jarome Iginla shot, and managed to beat Evgeni Nabokov with his second shot attempt at the net for the 100th goal of his career. The score also extended the point streak for Krejci, Iginla and Milan Lucic to five games as their red-hot line once again produced big numbers in the month of December.
2) The Bruins might have caught a break as it appears that a puck Cal Clutterbuck shot in front of the net went over the goal line after Tuukka Rask made the initial “butt save” while facing the net. The puck disappeared under Rask and it didn’t appear there was any conclusive at the time of the video replay, and it was called no goal. But subsequent looks on video showed it might have crossed over as David Krejci tried to keep the puck out. Apparently the ruling from Toronto is that the official was motioning to blow the whistle as the puck crossed over, but it was a close one.
3) Jordan Caron took a holding penalty, had a neutral zone turnover that led to a Peter Regin shot from the left circle toward the end of the period, and had zero shots in 3:42 of ice time. I will let that sentence speak for itself.
4) Four shots on net and 3-of-4 face-off wins for Krejci, who is moving with speed and creative purpose through an Islanders defense that has zero realistic plan to stop that line.
5) A 15-for-22 face-off win performance for the Bruins in the first period. Pretty, pretty, pretty good.