Up until about eight minutes left in the third period, the Bruins had no business even being in the game, but at the end of the day, they came away with an important win to even up their homestand at 2-2.
Now the B's can enjoy their off day on Sunday before hosting the Avalanche to finish up the five-game homestand.
Overtime, 0:00, Tied 3-3: A few chances for both teams, but nothing major as overtime comes to an end. A few passes from the Zamboni, and the Bruins will take part in their first shootout of the season.
Third period, 0:00, Tied 3-3: We'll go to overtime as the Bruins stage an epic comeback to earn at least one point. Now it's time to go for two.
Third period, 2:34, Tied 3-3: It's pretty funny what happens when teams play with urgency. The Bruins make it a one-goal game, and the Islanders can't get the puck out of their zone for three minutes. Hunwick shoots one into traffic, and it's 3-3. New game with just over two minutes left.
Third period, 4:25, Islanders 3-2: The Bruins might be better off declining the man advantage when the opposition takes a penalty. Both of their goals have come on even strength, and their power play has been atrocious. Bitz throws one on the net, and it finds the back of the net, as good things usually happen when you put the puck on goal.
Third period, 6:58, Islanders 3-1: The Bruins get a power play, and if they can get on the board once again, there will be plenty of time to even the score. Moulson's interference penalty could very well be the turning point of the game.
Third period, 8:01, Islanders 3-1: The Bruins finally find the back of the net with Savard just turning around and blasting a shot just inside the short side of Roloson. Eight minutes left to put two in. Not impossible.
Third period, 13:27, Islanders 3-0: The Bruins killed off the Recchi penalty, but have yet to mount a quality scoring chance or take a legitimate shot on Roloson in the third.
The clock is the Bruins' biggest enemy now, and that penalty kill didn't do them any favors to begin the third.
Third period, 18:13, Islanders 3-0: So much for taking advantage of the power play to open the period, as Recchi takes a penalty to give the Islanders a shorthanded power play.
Second intermission, Islanders 3-0: The Bruins are in trouble, but they have a chance to turn this game around, and you better believe the Islanders are aware of this.
The Bruins have the ability to erase the three-goal deficit, and here are three keys heading into the third that will give them the best chance of getting back in this game:
1. Take advantage of the power play to open the period
The Islanders are most likely satisfied with their three-goal lead heading into the locker room before the third. But I bet Isles head coach Scott Gordon isn't happy about having to start the third down a man. The Bruins have the chance to pick up a power-play goal within the first two minutes of the third and make it it a two-goal game with a lot of hockey left. As the saying goes, "a two-goal lead is the worst lead in hockey."
2. Get back momentum
The fourth line has been the Bruins' biggest strength through the first week of the season. With the ability to change the momentum and tempo of the game with one solid shift, the fourth line needs to bang some bodies and create some sort of advantage for the Bruins early in the third. If the Bruins can pop a quick goal and get the home crowd back on their side, there is a good chance they can make this a game in the final period.
3. Stay out of the box
The Bruins are arguably the best even-strength team in the entire league. The Islanders, not so much. So, why help the Islanders out by taking undisciplined and lazy penalties? The only chance the Islanders had of winning this game coming into Boston was to have Roloson stand on his head and to take advantage of mistakes by the Bruins. And they have been successful doing both. The Bruins aren't going to come back in this game if they are going to have to kill the clock by killing off penalties.
Second period, 0:00, Islanders 3-0: Well, it could have been worse … the Bruins could have given up four goals in the second. All kidding aside, the Bruins have their work cut out for them with 20 minutes of hockey left if they want to avoid their third loss in four games to open the season.
Second period, 4:12, Islanders 3-0: A bad turnover at the top of the Islanders' zone leads to Tavares sniping on Rask short side. A three-goal deficit … expect a big hit or tilt at some point soon.
Second period, 7:17, Islanders 2-0: And the Islanders continue to play "Rebound" with Tuuka Rask, as Radek Martinek rings one around the posts for his first goal of the season.
Second period, 8:05, Islanders 1-0: I'm not quite sure what the Bruins are trying to accomplish by having the D tee up from the point on the power play with not one black jersey in front. Roloson keeps kicking away juicy rebounds with no traffic in front of him and a perfect view of the shooting lane. Another wasted attempt with the man advantage.
Second period, 10:53, Islanders 1-0: Bergenheim heads to the bin for slashing, and the Bruins have a chance to even it up. Three shots total on two power plays before this one.
Second period, 12:46, 1-0 Islanders: Everyone in the Garden was either saying or thinking "Shoot it!" there as Lucic stickhandled through the slot past the net and to the boards, giving up numerous quality chances before just killing the play altogether.
Another case of too many moves leaves the Bruins empty-handed once again.
Second period, 15:56, 1-0 Islanders: And there is the momentum killer the Islanders needed, as Jon Sim finds the top shelf, roofing a snap shot uncontested right outside the crease.
Second period, 17:14: Stuart heads to the box to give the Isles another scoring chance, but there has been nothing wrong with the way the Bruins have come out in the second. A very strong start, though the Islanders can quickly take away that momentum with a goal here on the power play.
Second period, 17:56: Starting the fourth line at the beginning of each period is paying off for Julien as his checking line is creating a great tempo for the scoring lines to follow up and build off of.
The Bruins have come out with an extra little bounce in their step, and it just led to a lucky bounce giving Kobasew a mini 1-on-0.
First intermission, 0-0: It wasn't the Bruins' best period of the young season, and it was far from their worst. But it could have been a lot better, and I'm sure Claude Julien is letting them know that in the room right now.
A few quick things that were noticeable in the first and three keys for the B's for the rest of the game:
1. Clear the front of the net
The Islanders, with their 16 shots, have shown they won't settle for high-percentage shots and are just letting it rip from everywhere. Streit, alone, let about five bombs go during the Islanders' early power play, and as soon as the Islanders see an opening, they are looking to put the puck on the net. Rask did an excellent job in the first with the amount of traffic in front of him, but given the amount of rebounds that kicked back out to the slot, the Bruins are going to have to do a better job making sure Rask has an adequate view of the shooter and isn't solely relying on his positioning to keep the puck out of the net.
2. Better puck movement in the neutral zone
The Bruins' breakout in the first couldn't have been more standard and predictable, and it left with just one option once the puck crossed the red line: Dump it in. You could give credit to the Isles' defense in the opening period, but at home against a lesser opponents, the B's should be creating lanes in the neutral zone with quicker puck movement. This occurred just once in the first when Krejci's line had a few short-distance passes between the Bruins' blue and the red before getting it into the Islanders' zone. With the power play showing no signs of getting on the board, the Bruins are going to need odd-man rushes to create offensive chances. Which brings us to the next point…
3. Take some shots and chances on the power play
The Bruins' biggest strength is also their weakness in that they have such good playmakers on the man advantage. There is too much unnecessary passing below the circles and along the half-wall without much movement toward the net. The only option the B's left themselves several times was for Chara to tee it up from the point with the wings still sitting outside the slot, leaving Roloson with an easy view of the shot. There's a reason the Islanders received the No. 1 draft pick, and that has a lot to do with their poor defense and special teams. It's time the Bruins exposed this weakness by making Roloson work by getting more than one shot on goal in the two-minute advantage.
First period, 0:00: Some late fan jobs by the Bruins in the slot to close out the first, and the Islanders have done their job by holding the B's scoreless on the road for 20 minutes.
First period, 1:00: The fourth line draws its second penalty of the game for the Bruins, but once again, the power play fails to capitalize on it and didn't even get any quality scoring chances.
First period, 5:43: The Bruins have yet to put together any sort of offense at all with just three shots.
The dump-and-chase game isn't working in their favor as the Isles are having no problem just wrapping any puck past the goal line around the boards for an easy breakout.
First period, 8:03: After the two-man advantage expired, the Islanders had trouble getting the puck back into the Boston zone.
It won't show up in the box score, but the discipline showed by the first unit killing the 5-on-3 to stay in the triangle, even with Tavares lurking at the right circle, was impressive.
The B's escape a potential devastating start to the game, and in the process have tilted the ice back in their favor.
First period, 12:34: Ference didn't agree with Bergenheims's decision to lay out Savard, and he took him down to the ice as Bergenheim tried to turtle.
So far it's been all Islanders as they are taking shots from every angle possible and forcing the Bruins to run around in the defensive zone, creating wide-open chances from beneath the top of the circles. Good thing Rask has been on his game early on.
First period, 16:30: The Islanders get their first chance with the man advantage, and they take little time on their power play putting the puck on net, as Mark Streit keeps getting set up at the point to just let clappers rip at Rask.
A very different approach to the setup the Bruins use on the power play, but by peppering the front of the net, the Islanders are forcing Rask to get tested early.
First period, 17:48: Nothing doing on that power play for the B's, but the power-play breakout was smooth as they wasted minimal time getting the puck over the red and deep into the Islanders' zone. A few sloppy passes let the Isles clear and kill the clock, as the Isles avoid an early dagger.
First period, 19:48: Twelve seconds into the game, and Richard Park goes to the box for the Islanders for interference on the early dump-in by the Bruins' fourth line. Couldn't really ask for a better start for the B's.
6:39 p.m.: The Islanders' Trent Hunter has been placed on the IR with a torn pectoral muscle, and Doug Weight is also out of the lineup for the Isles with a groin strain.
Here are the lines and defensive pairings:
6:36 p.m.: Tuukka Rask in net for the B's. Dwayne Roloson starting for the Isles.
6:11 p.m.: So far this season we know two things about the Bruins:
1. When they win, they win big.
2. When they lose, they lose big.
The Bruins have yet show any signs of consistency from one period to the next over their first three games. Maybe that will change on Saturday against the team Steve Somers so commonly refers to as the "Icelanders."
12:54 p.m.: After a demoralizing home loss to the Ducks on Thursday night at the Garden, the Bruins hope they can bounce back with the soon-to-be-in-the-basement Islanders coming to town.
New Englanders will get their first glance at John Tavares, the No. 1 overall pick in the NHL draft and the much-needed savior for a struggling franchise on Saturday. But aside from watching the future of Long Island, this one is a matchup that heavily favors the B's, if they can take advantage of it.
Back with lines and much more later.