David Krejci had a pair of goals, Chris Kelly scored his 20th and the line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin combined for three goals and eight points as the Bruins continue to build momentum heading toward the postseason.
Boston is now 6-1-1 in its last eight games and will clinch the Northeast Division if Ottawa loses to Philadelphia in regulation. The Senators and Flyers are tied 3-3 late in the third period. The Bruins head into Manhattan on Sunday to complete their tour of the Big Apple by taking on the East-leading Rangers.
UPDATE: Ottawa prevailed 4-3 in a shootout in Philadelphia. That keeps the Bruins’ lead in the Northeast at six points, with both teams having four games remaining. The Bruins hold the tiebreakers, so even if Ottawa wins out, the Bruins just need to get two points to clinch the division title. Boston can actually clinch before they even take the ice Sunday night if Ottawa loses in regulation to the Islanders Sunday afternoon.
Third Period, 16:43, Bruins 6-3: The Bruins add another as David Krejci scores his second of the day.
Milan Lucic set it up with a strong drive to the net, then drops the puck back to Krejci in front for the goal.
Third Period, 16:19, Bruins 5-3: The Bruins answer right back as Patrice Bergeron extends the lead back to two goals.
Marchand sent the puck up to Seguin and Bergeron followed up with the rebound at the right post.
Third Period, 14:53, Bruins 4-3: The Islanders pull within one as P.A. Parenteau scores his second of the game.
John Taveres won possession of the puck behind the net from Boychuk and feed it out to Matt Moulson, who sent it along to Parenteau in front for the goal.
Third Period, 14:02, Bruins 4-2: The Bruins can’t convert the power play, and needed some strong defensive work from Zdeno Chara to break up a pair of shorthanded chances for the Islanders before the sides return to even strength.
Third Period, 12:02, Bruins 4-2: The Bruins finally get their first power-play chance of the day as Mark Streit is called for delay of game for sending the puck over the glass out of play.
Third Period, 10:37, Bruins 4-2: The Bruins get their two-goal lead as Tyler Seguin gives Boston a huge insurance goal.
Seguin fired in a wrister from long range, shooting from beyond the top of the left faceoff circle. Montoya had a clear look at it, but couldn’t get the glove up in time to snare it.
Third Period, 9:57, Bruins 3-2: The other revised Bruins lines have Jordan Caron up with Milan Lucic and David Krejci and Brian Rolston down with Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campbell. Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin remain together.
Third Period, 7:24, Bruins 3-2: The Bruins are pressing for some separation and their first two-goal lead of the day, which they almost get on a Rich Peverley attempt to stuff it home at the right post. Peverley is now skating with Kelly and Pouliot as Claude Julien has shaken up the lines in the third.
Third Period, 3:13, Bruins 3-2: The Bruins do take the lead again on a pretty move down the slot by Brad Marchand.
Tyler Seguin carried the puck down the right side and passed it over to Marchand in the middle, where he weaved through the defense, deked Montoya and slipped the puck between the pads for the goal.
Third Period, 1:35, 2-2: The Bruins nearly take the lead, but Jordan Caron rings the post with a bid for the go-ahead goal.
Third Period, 1:04, 2-2: The Bruins kill off the rest of the penalty, and nearly score shorthanded as Brad Marchand had a breakaway bid. That came after Johnny Boychuk nailed Parenteau with a huge hit at the blue line, but Boychuk went to the bench in pain and is being checked out there.
Third Period, 0:00, 2-2: The final frame is under way on Long Island, where the Bruins will have to kill off the rest of David Krejci’s penalty to start the third.
Second Intermission Notes: The Bruins took another one-goal lead, but once again couldn’t hold it as the teams head to the third tied 2-2.
Chris Kelly scored Boston’s second goal, netting his career-high 20th of the season. Boston now has six 20-goal scorers this season, the most since have seven back in 2008-09. Kelly’s goal came shortly after Gregory Campbell dropped the gloves with Michael Haley, and that bout appeared to spark the Bruins. It was Campbell’s 10th fighting major of the year, and he now needs just two goals to hit double figures in both fights and goals for the second straight season.
Beyond the score, the rest of the statsheet remains very even as well. The Isles have a slim 16-14 edge in shots with a 9-7 advantage in the second, and also lead 14-13 in hits, while Boston has a 12-11 edge in blocked shots. Faceoffs remain the one area that is not close, with the Bruins continuing to dominate the draws at 27-11 (71 percent). Patrice Bergeron is 11-4, David Krejci 8-3 and Campbell 3-0.
End Second Period, 2-2: The middle frame comes to a close with the game still deadlocked after the clubs exchanged goals again in the second. Marty Turco came up big with a couple huge saves on Matt Moulson late on the power play, but the Bruins will still have 1:04 left on David Krejci’s penalty to start the third.
Second Period, 19:03, 2-2: The Bruins will be shorthanded again late in the second as David Krejci is sent to the box for slashing.
Second Period, 18:15, 2-2: The Bruins survive some pressure after Mike Mottau breaks his stick and the Islanders get Boston hemmed in their own zone.
Second Period, 17:20, 2-2: The Bruins are able to kill that penalty off and Shawn Thornton, who served the penalty for Turco, is back on the ice as the sides return to even strength.
Second Period, 15:20, 2-2: The Bruins will now be shorthanded as Turco gets the first minor penalty of the day after tripping up Kyle Okposo trying to drive around the net. This will be a huge kill for the Bruins as the Isles have the momentum now after tying this one up.
Second Period, 14:26, 2-2: The Islanders tie it again as P.A. Parenteau scores off a beautiful feed from John Tavares.
Tavares gathered the puck in the left circle, spun and dished a pass to Parenteau for an easy tap-in behind Turco at the right post.
Second Period, 11:36, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins with another bid as Seguin sets up Bergeron in front, but Montoya makes the point-blank save to keep it a one-goal game.
Second Period, 10:06, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins continue to pressure as they appear to have come out here in the second with even more jump than they showed in the opening frame, perhaps noticing that Ottawa had built a 3-0 lead in Philadelphia, which the Flyers have now cut to 3-1.
Second Period, 4:58, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins appear to have gained the boost from that bout, as Chris Kelly gives Boston the lead again with his 20th goal of the season.
Kelly cut across the middle right to left, then went back across the grain with a shot back inside the right post.
Second Period, 2:56, 1-1: The gloves come off as Gregory Campbell and Michael Haley square off at center ice. They come together after some shadow boxing and both land some solid shots, with Haley scoring on a couple of lefts before the brief bout comes to a close.
Second Period, 1:50, 1-1: The teams have picked up right where they left off in the first with both sides creating chances in the early stages of the second. The Bergeron line had a chance for the Bruins, while Turco was forced to make tough saves on both Okposo and Marty Reasoner at the other end.
Second Period, 0:00, 1-1: The middle frame is under way on Long Island, where the Bruins are trying to break a deadlock with the Islanders after exchanging goals late in the first.
First Intermission Notes: The Bruins and Islanders are separated by 11 spots in the Eastern Conference standings, but there was absolutely no separation between the clubs in the opening period.
Not only is the score tied 1-1, but the teams are also tied 7-7 in shots, 7-7 in hits and even 4-4 in missed shots. The Bruins do have a 7-6 edge in blocked shots, as the Isles are up 18-17 in shot attempts.
The one area that hasn’t been even is the battle in the faceoff circle, where the Bruins are 13-4 (76 percent). Patrice Bergeron (7-1) and David Krejci (4-1) are leading the way there. Krejci also has Boston’s lone goal, with the Bruins flipping the right wings on the top two lines yet again with Rich Peverley back with Krejci and Milan Lucic, while Tyler Seguin has returned to the Bergeron line with Brad Marchand on the opposite wing.
Mike Mottau has returned to action after being a healthy scratch for the last several weeks. He was solid in the first period against his old club, registering a hit in 6:12 of ice time.
End First Period, 1-1: The opening frame comes to a close. After a slow start, the teams traded goals late in the period, with the Bruins also creating several other chances in the final minute.
First Period, 18:40, 1-1: The Islander answer less than a minute later with Kyle Okposo scoring from the left side near the top of the circle to pull New York even.
First Period, 18:11, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins open the scoring with a David Krejci goal late in the first.
Krejci’s initial drive was blocked in front, but Milan Lucic tracked the puck down and fed a backhand pass from below the goal line to Krejci in the right slot for the quick shot.
First Period, 15:14, 0-0: Turco has been sharp early in this one, carrying over his strong performance in Anaheim last weekend. He stoned Josh Bailey with a pad save on a shot in tight from the right side.
First Period, 14:12, 0-0: The first sign of any nastiness in this one as Mike Mottau and then Brad Marchand each exchange shoves with Islanders forward Nino Niederreiter in front of the Boston net. No penalties are called and there still has not been a need to open the sin bin doors in this one yet.
First Period, 10:32, 0-0: After a good pace early, things have slowed a bit with the Bruins charged with back-to-back icings. Still, overall Boston has had pretty good jump despite the injuries on defense and knowledge that a playoff spot has been clinched.
First Period, 7:30, 0-0: The Islanders with another threat with their fourth line showing some nifty passing that ends with call-up Micheal Haley getting a shot from the left slot that Turco ties up for a faceoff.
First Period, 3:52, 0-0: The Islanders answer by testing Turco as John Tavares has a chance in the high slot after a Bruins turnover at the blue line, but Turco flashes the glove for the save.
First Period, 2:10, 0-0: The Bruins threaten early as Chris Kelly barrels down the middle of the ice fires in a shot from the slot. He beats Montoya, but the puck clangs the left post and stays out.
First Period, 0:00, 0-0: This one is under way on Long Island, where the Bruins, fresh off clinching a playoff spot with Buffalo’s loss on Friday, will look to strengthen their hold on the Northeast Division lead against an Islanders team that’s 13th in the East, but suddenly very hot. The Isles are coming off three straight wins against playoff-bound opponents after beating Florida and sweeping a home-and-home series with Pittsburgh.
1 p.m.: The Bruins will open with some combos a little different than what they showed in warm-ups, with Tyler Seguin back with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand up front, Andrew Ference and Johnny Boychuk on defense and Marty Turco in goal.
The Islanders counter with their top line of Matt Moulson, John Tavares and P.A. Parenteau up front, Travis Hamonic and Andrew MacDonald on the blue line and Al Montoya in net.
12:55 p.m.: The Bruins have officially scratched Daniel Paille, Dennis Seidenberg (leg infection), Adam McQuaid (eye), Torey Krug and Tuukka Rask (groin).
Milan Jurcina, Casey Cizikas and Evgeni Nabokov (lower body) are out for the Islanders.
12:45 p.m.: The Bruins will stick with the same lines up front for this one, but the injuries will force some changes on defense.
Here are the combinations the Bruins appear to be using for this one.
12:30 p.m.: As expected, Marty Turco and Al Montoya led the teams out onto the ice for warm-ups and that will be the goaltending matchup for this one.
12:15 p.m.: The Bruins kick off a quick tour of New York with a matinee against the Islanders in a little less than an hour.
They follow that up with a showdown against the East-leading Rangers on Sunday, but can’t afford to look past the Isles, who have won three straight against playoff competition.
The Bruins will go will Marty Turco in goal, while Dennis Seidenberg (leg infection) and Adam McQuaid (eye) will be out on defense. Mike Mottau and Joe Corvo will replace them.
8 a.m. ET: The Bruins locked up a playoff berth without even playing on Friday, clinching a spot when Pittsburgh beat Buffalo 5-3.
But there’s still plenty for Boston to play for as the Bruins kick off a weekend tour of New York with a clash against the Islanders on Saturday. Boston is still looking to lock up the Northeast Division title and the second seed in the East. The Bruins lead Ottawa in the division by six points with each team having five games left, while holding a four-point edge and a game in hand on Southeast Division-leading Florida for the No. 2 seed.
Picking up more points against the Islanders won’t be easy though despite New York currently sitting 13th in the East. The Isles have won three straight over playoff-bound teams, beating Florida 3-2 and sweeping Pittsburgh in a home-and-home series by identical 5-3 scores. The Islanders also won the last matchup with the Bruins 3-2 in Boston on March 3, a loss that was especially costly for the Bruins as Tuukka Rask was injured during the contest.
The Islanders (33-33-11, 77 points) have health issues of their own in goal with Evgeni Nabokov suffering a lower-body injury Tuesday against Pittsburgh. With Rick DiPietro already out for the season with a groin injury, the Islanders were desperate enough to sign former Bruin John Grahame, who last played in the NHL in 2008 with Carolina, on Wednesday.
The Bruins (45-28-4, 94 points) are coming off a 3-2 shootout loss to Washington on Thursday, but are still 5-1-1 in their last seven games as they appear to be gaining momentum heading toward the postseason.
The puck drops at 1 p.m. Tune in to NESN to watch the game, and stay with the NESN.com live blog, as we’ll keep you up to speed on everything happening.