Postgame analysis, Islanders win 4-1: There weren't any excuses in the Bruins dressing room after their lackluster effort in a 4-1 loss to the Islanders tonight. The general consensus among the players was simple: They came out "flat" and "didn't work hard enough."
"We were just flat," defenseman Derek Morris said matter of factly. "When we are on, we're back hard and we're back sharp. Those passes don't come out. One was a lucky bounce on, obviously, a bad break, Tuukka [Rask] went to clear it out and picked it up. If we are back and we are sharp, those don't go in. We were just flat and lost battles."
As for the Islanders seemingly moving through the middle to the net all night?
"Yeah, you noticed, eh?" Morris asked sarcastically. "Kind of obvious that we weren't clogging up the middle like we always do. I don't know, that was ugly."
Following the game, head coach Claude Julien was asked why at this point in the season, his team is still flat.
"I don't know, why don't you ask them?" he exclaimed.
Right now, no one seems to have answers for the Black and Gold, but with a four-game road trip on the horizon, starting in Atlanta against the sizzling hot Ilya Kovalchuk, they better find some soon.
End of game, Islanders win 4-1: This was not the way the Bruins wanted to head out on the road for a four-game road trip but they will do so after losing 4-1 to the Islanders in what can only be described as a less than stellar effort on their part. They are now mired in their second three-game losing streak at 0-1-2.
The penalty kill was about the only bright spot for the Bruins tonight as they extended their streak to 25 straight kills. Other than that, a forgetful night here at TD Garden. We'll have post-game analysis in a bit but thanks for joining us here at our Live Bruins Blog at NESN.com
Third period, 0:48.7, Islanders 4-1: The Islanders seal the game with an empty-net goal by Trent Hunter. The Bruins had killed off the power play and then pulled Tuukka Rask, but the Islanders immediately scored after Rask got to the bench.
Third period, 3:16, Islanders 3-1: The Bruins are shorthanded for the fifth time tonight as Patrice Bergeron takes a late hooking penalty.
Third period, 3:33, Islanders 3-1: The Bruins need to find a spark soon if they want to pull out at least a point here.
Third period, 6:37, Islanders 3-1: John Tavares has now been credited for the Islanders' third goal instead of Matt Moulson. Richard Park still gets the assist, but no hat trick for Moulson.
Third period, 7:02, Islanders 3-1: The Islanders have used their timeout here, most likely to rest after the icing call. Their guys went a while there without a shift change.
I'm getting lots of feedback and e-mails on the struggles of Dennis Wideman. We had him as a "minus" in our weekly "Plus-Minus" column and he doesn't seem to be climbing out of that category. Wideman is really struggling and doesn't seem to have much confidence in his passing right now.
Third period, 11:49, Islanders 3-1: If you look at all three goals by Matt Moulson, he is driving up the middle of the zone to the net virtually unimpeded. It's maybe something the Bruins need to focus on tomorrow in practice, eh?
Third period, 15:07, Islanders 3-1: The Islanders are on their fourth power play after David Krejci was called for interference. The Isles are 0-for-3.
Third period, 18:10, Islanders 3-1: Well you can bet the Bruins won't be drinking any Molson beer after the game. Oh wait, it's Matt Moulson with a "u." Well, however you spell it, Moulson has a hat trick and the Islanders are up 3-1.
John Tavares and Richard Park had the helpers and Park now has three assists on the night.
End of second period, Islanders 2-1: It's a tough way to end the period for the Bruins there and Tuukka Rask most definitely wants that mistake back. He basically gift-wrapped that goal for the Islanders.
Not sure really if the Bruins underestimated the Islanders here, and if so, how could they after they almost lost to them last month? Whatever the case, the Bruins need to get their game going quickly if they want to embark on that four-game road trip on a high note.
Second period, 1:11, Islanders 2-1: Matt Moulson just scored his second of the game and the Isles have the lead again. Tuukka Rask misplayed the puck around the boards as Richard Park stole it and fed Moulson in front. Moulson had an empty net and buried it with ease.
Second period, 2:06, 1-1: The Bruins have killed off 23 straight power plays now as the Islanders failed to convert on the Steve Begin penalty.
Second period, 4:43, 1-1: The Bruins are shorthanded again as Steve Begin was called for slashing. New York is 0-for-2 on the power play tonight.
Second period, 5:04, 1-1: And the goal counts! The Bruins have tied the game on a goal by Daniel Paille with David Krejci getting the assist. That's three points in his last two games for Krejci.
The replay apparently showed that the puck crossed the line before the net was dislodged on a very close play. But the Bruins will take them any way they can right now!
Second period, 5:04, Islanders 1-0: A Daniel Paille goal is under review as the net was dislodged by John Tavares just as Paille scored. I can't tell from the replay. It's a close call!
Second period, 9:08, Islanders 1-0: I have to say, Islanders head coach Scott "Flash" Gordon is doing a great job with this young Isles club. They work hard and there is obviously some serious skill.
Second period, 12:12, Islanders 1-0: The Bruins are now 0-for-4 on the power play and the Islanders are 0-for-2. The man advantage continues to be the Achilles' heel of this team.
Second period, 14:42, Islanders 1-0: That was a quick power play and not in the fashion the Bruins want. Mark Recchi took a cross-checking penalty. Yikes! The ref is blowing that whistle a lot here in the second period. The Bruins are back on the power play as Sean Bergenheim is in the box for slashing.
Second period, 15:57, Islanders 1-0: Matt Moulson is in the box for interference and the Bruins are on their third power play of the game.
Second period, 17:37, Islanders 1-0: The Bruins have now killed off 22 straight power plays and the Islanders are 0-for-2 tonight.
Second period, 19:42, Islanders 1-0: We're underway in the third period here and the Bruins are shorthanded again as Daniel Paille was called for hooking.
End of first period, Islanders 1-0: The Bruins failed to convert on that 5-on-3 and are 0-for-2 on the man advantage tonight.
They really appeared to get too fancy there and look for the right play on the power play instead of shooting. Nonetheless, they trail 1-0 after one period of play.
If Bruins fans were hoping Peter Forsberg was going to come back from Sweden and jump start the power play here in the Hub, it won't be happening. The former star with the Avalanche has decided to stay in Sweden and finish the season with his current club Modo of the Swedish Elite League. The Bruins recently admitted they had interest in Forsberg if he were to come back to the NHL, but it appears they will have to turn their eyes back to North America. Or they can hope the impending returns of Marc Savard and Milan Lucic will help out the power play.
First period, 4:50, Islanders 1-0: Jack Hillen is in the penalty box for tripping and the Bruins have a 5-on-3 here. It's a good chance to get the power play going again and tie this game.
First period, 5:15, Islanders 1-0: The Bruins killed off their 21st straight power play and are now going on their own man advantage as former Boston University defenseman Freddy Meyer is in the sin bin for tripping.
First period, 8:15, Islanders 1-0: Michael Ryder is in the box for holding and the Islanders are on the power play for the first time tonight. The Bruins have killed off 20 straight power plays.
First period, 9:42, Islanders 1-0: Shawn Thornton just went toe-to-toe with Tim Jackman. Pretty even fight, but as is often the case, we'll give the decision to Thornton.
First period, 11:59, Islanders 1-0: Last time the Islanders were here, they took an early 3-0 lead in Tuukka Rask's first start of the season.
Claude Julien stuck with Rask that night, he calmed down and the Bruins eventually tied the game and won in a shootout. Rask has been solid since, but he did not look good on that first goal tonight. The Bruins most definitely don't want to be climbing back from a three-goal deficit again.
First period, 14:00, Islanders 1-0: The Islanders have an early lead here as Matt Moulson beats Tuukka Rask for his ninth goal of the season. Jack Hillen and Richard Park had the helpers.
First period, 19:37: We're underway here in the first period. Not as big a crowd as in recent games but that is to be expected on a Monday night.
7:06 p.m.: "Big Papi" David Ortiz dropping the ceremonial puck at center ice. "Big Papi" and "Big Z" Zdeno Chara on a blue line together?
6:57 p.m.: We're almost set for action here at TD Garden. Here's a look at the expected lineup.
Marco Sturm–Patrice Bergeron–Mark Recchi
Blake Wheeler–David Krejci–Michael Ryder
Daniel Paille–Vladimir Sobotka–Brad Marchand
Shawn Thornton–Steve Begin–Byron Bitz
Zdeno Chara–Derek Morris
Matt Hunwick–Dennis Wideman
Mark Stuart–Andrew Ference
4:39 p.m.: The Bruins (8-7-4, 20 points) welcome the Islanders (7-6-7, 21 points) to the TD Garden for the second time this season in their final home game before a four-game road trip.
Both teams are coming off tough losses, with the Bruins blowing a late lead and losing 6-5 in overtime at Pittsburgh while the Islanders lost 5-4 in a shootout at Florida. This game will be a big test for each team to see if they can bounce back quickly from emotional losses.
Tuukka Rask (3-1-1, 2.33 GAA, .919 save percentage) is expected to be in net for the Bruins while the Islanders will counter with Marty Biron (2-5-2, 2.83 GAA, .913 save percentage).
The Bruins finally found their offense with six players having two-point nights in Pittsburgh. The line of Blake Wheeler-David Krejci-Michael Ryder combined for five points with all three players lighting the red light and Krejci and Wheeler adding assists as well.
“They probably had their best game as a line,’’ head coach Claude Julien told the media after the game. “They created a lot of opportunities. We made some small adjustments to them just before leaving on the trip. They seemed to respond well to them. Hopefully they can build on that.’’
The Bruins will need that production from that trio — and all the lines on a more consistent basis — but they will also need to remain strong defensively, something they failed to do when they opened up their offense.
"We just need to get the offense and defense going at the same time," Krejci said after the game.
The B's will try and do that Monday against a team they had to battle back from three goals down and beat in a shootout 4-3 on Oct. 10. The Islanders, led by rookie John Tavares (the top overall pick from the 2009 NHL entry draft), have been a pleasant surprise this season. Former Providence Bruins head coach Scott Gordon has done a solid job of getting the best out of a very young but talented team. A perfect example is player like Matt Moulson, who always seemed to have the talent but couldn't stay with an NHL club. Moulson is now tied for the team lead in goals with eight and appears to have found his niche.
Speaking of Gordon, apparently he, former Bruins forward Bob Sweeney and the rest of the 1985-86 Boston College Eagles hockey team thought maybe they could have a rap career if hockey didn't work out. Luckily, they stuck to hockey.
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