Tim Thomas made 14 saves in the third period, and appeared to be the regular season version of himself for the first time in the playoffs. Thomas showed off a clinic of show-stopping saves in the third while getting big and aggressive on a tasty Andrei Kostitsyn bid from the left face-off dot, smothering a shot by Scott Gomez right on the doorstep of the net, knocking a James Wisniewski scorched blast with his blocker and kicking away a P.K. Subban shot from the high point all with six minutes to go in a one-goal game. As small as Thomas came up in Game 2 at TD Garden, he was that good when it really mattered in the final 15 minutes of the third period at the Bell Centre on Monday night. If Thomas plays at that level on a consistent basis for the next week then the Canadiens are in trouble.
BOSTON -- The Bruins were due for an embarrassing no-show against a bad team after playing some pretty good hockey over the last two weeks, and it arrived on cue versus -- once again -- the New York Islanders.
A dreadful second period by Boston allowed the Isles to coast to a 4-0 win at TD Garden Monday afternoon, giving the Metro Division's worst team its second regulation victory over the Bruins in two months. If the B's miss the playoffs by four points or less, they can look at both defeats as big reasons why they didn’t end up making the cut.
After a scoreless first period, the Islanders broke down the B’s defense for the game's first goal. The Adam McQuaid/Torey Krug pairing was caught behind the net and David Krejci was late covering the slot as Casey Cizikas set up Nikolay Kulemin for the first of his two goals on the afternoon.
Less than two minutes later the Islanders doubled their lead when Josh Bailey was able to sneak a bad-angle shot past Tuukka Rask to the short side. Three minutes after that, a high-risk Joe Morrow play at the offensive blue line turned into an odd-man rush for the Islanders and once again Cizikas fed Kulemin from behind the net for a goal that upped the Isles' lead to 3-0. Bruins fans serenaded the B’s players with boos as they exited for the second intermission.
Rask was pulled after allowing three goals on 15 shots through the first 40 minutes, but that did nothing to give Boston any energy. Jason Chimera capped off the B’s bag of stink with a shorthanded Islanders goal in the third period with little resistance from a trailing group of Bruins turning in a flat performance.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wondering what Claude Julien would do if one of the Bruins players was running Facebook Live during his postgame comments.
*Auston Matthews is obviously making a huge impression in Toronto as his Centennial Classic jersey sold for over $11,000 at a charity auction.
*Clark Booth knows it’s time to talk about the NFL, but instead he wants to talk about Milt Schmidt. I agree with Clark.
*Sabres goalie Robin Lehner says that his Buffalo teammates need to start doing their job as the season circles down the drain.
*Pierre McGuire talks with TSN sports radio about the Ottawa Senators, and the tough road trip coming up for them.
*PHT writer Cam Tucker has more bad news for the Tampa Bay Lightning as Ryan Callahan is going to be out for another four weeks with a lower body injury.
*As the Detroit Red Wings continue to round up the bottom in the Atlantic Division, Thomas Vanek may become trade bait.
*Peter Budaj is giving the Kings the saves that they need with Jonathan Quick out long term with injury.
*For something completely different: Tom E. Curran points out some togetherness issues with the Pittsburgh Steelers based on Antonio Brown’s Facebook post.