Thanks to a late three-goal surge in the final minutes of play at the Garden, the Bruins were able to prevent a 1-3 start to their season, and avoid losing to the inferior Islanders at home.
Bruins 4, Islanders 3 (SO)
TD Garden, Boston, Mass.
October 10, 2009
Headliner: Marc Savard started the Bruins' comeback at 11:59 of the third, and it was only fitting that he finished it off by dangling his way to the go-ahead goal in the shootout. Savard finished the game with one goal on four shots and a plus-1 rating, but it was his creative offense and continuous pressure on the Islanders' defense that allowed the Bruins to end their scoring drought and get them back in the game late in the third period.
Grinder: Tuuka Rask might have let up three goals, but it could have been a lot worse given the amount of shots he faced and where those shots came from. Rask allowed three goals in the second period, but kept the Islanders off the board in the third to give the Bruins a chance to mount a comeback. After starting just one NHL game last season, Rask got his first start of the year in just the fourth game of the season this year. Rask faced 38 shots and made 35 saves, and also managed to stop two of the three shooters in the shootout for the win.
Weak Link: The Islanders' defense was able to take care of the front of the net all night against the Bruins to prevent Dwayne Roloson from being screened. That is until the third period. The Bruins' final two goals came from traffic in front of Roloson, as the Islanders' defense let up with a win seemingly inevitable. As soon as the Islanders let the Bruins gain the slightest momentum, New York was unable to slow them down, and it cost them a point in the standings.
Key Moment: Savard's goal gave the Garden a little bit of life, and with the Islanders leading by two (the worst lead in hockey), the Bruins were able to erase the deficit when Byron Bitz and Matt Hunwick just threw the puck at the net. After being hesitant to take outside shots all night, two of the ugliest shots of the night ended up producing the second and third goals for the Bruins in the win. Once the Bruins dropped the fancy moves and multiple passes below the circles, they were able to find the back of the net and once again find their groove.
What's Next: The Bruins can end their five-game homestand on a winning note with a win over the Avalance in the Columbus Day matinee. The Bruins will head west to face the Stars and Coyotes after the Avalanche, and the game with the Avs will give the Bruins a chance to begin creating the home-ice advantage they held last season at the Garden. The win on Saturday might be the momentum the B's need to find their groove and begin a tear to the top of the Eastern Conference.