Nielsen was just awarded the first star but a lot of credit has to go to goaltender Dwayne Roloson who kept the Isles in the game, gave them a chance to tie it and then win the game in overtime. The former UMass-Lowell star made 30 stops and held the Bruins at bay when they were swirling around him in the third period. The Bruins out-shot the Islanders 17-3 in the third period but couldn't solve Roloson and failed to put away what seemed to be a tired Islanders squad.
The Sabres beat the Rangers tonight so the Bruins, with one point tonight trail the Sabres by two points for the top spot in the Northeast Division. Up next is the Philadelphia Flyers in a preview of the 2010 Bridgestone Winter Classic. Thanks for joining us here on our Live Bruins Blog and have a great night!
End of regulation, 2-2: For the second time this season, the Bruins and Islanders will go to overtime as they're tied at two after 60 minutes of play.
This has been a very tight game and both teams have fought back from one-goal deficits. There will be no coming back from the next goal though in OT.
Third period, 5:11, 2-2: Dwayne Roloson is holding the fort for the Isles right now as the Bruins have out-shot the Islanders 15-1 this period.
Right after that last whistle, Michael Ryder looked like he almost cross-checked the linesman. He must have thought an Islander was coming in on him?
Third period, 7:39, 2-2: Johnny Boychuk continues to impress as he looks very comfortable out there and can really let a cannon go from the point.
Third period, 9:43, 2-2: The Bruins could only muster one shot on that last power play and are now 0-for-3.
The Bruins need to start taking advantage of what appears to be a tired Islanders team that has taken two of the last three penalties.
Third period, 11:57, 2-2: The Bruins are on their third power play as former B.U. star Freddy Meyer is in the penalty box. Boston is 0-for-2.
Third period, 13:41, 2-2: Mark Recchi has really been on his game lately and is creating traffic in front of Dwayne Roloson tonight.
I was surprised he didn't get the "A" today. Instead, Marc Savard, another worthy candidate did. Claude Julien awards the "A" top a different player every 15 games based on their play, effort and leadership. Patrice Bergeron wears the other "A" permanently.
Third period, 17:19, 2-2: Bruno Gervais is in the sin-bin and the Bruins are on their second power play. They're 0-for-1.
Third period, 19:39, 2-2: Underway in the third period here as the Bruins try to get their third straight victory.
End of second period, Tied 2-2: The Islanders were able to prevent the Bruins from converting some high-percentage scoring chances in the second, and now have themselves a tie game after two.
The momentum has certainly been back and forth through the first 40 minutes of play, and with the Islanders at home and having just tied the game, let's see if they will be able to control the tempo early in the third.
Second period, 5:18, Tied 2-2: Matt Moulson gets on the board for the 15th time this season on a feed from John Tavares. Kyle Okposo picks up the second assist and we're tied at two in the second.
Second period, 6:21, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins failed to score on their first power play and are 0-for-1.
Second period, 8:38, Bruins 2-1: Jon Sim is in the sin-bin and the Bruins are on their first power play.
Second period, 10:34, Bruins 2-1: David Krejci just took a beautiful feed from Michael Ryder to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead.
Ryder returns the favor on this one and he and Krejci are really feeding off each other tonight. Vladimir Sobotka got the secondary assist.
Second period, 11:36, 1-1: Fast-moving period here in the second and the Bruins seem to have seized momentum.
They are really controlling the neutral zone and making great first outlet passes from their own zone right now. That is how Peter Chiarelli envisioned this defense to work.
Second period, 14:20, 1-1: The Nassau Coliseum has to be one of the biggest dumps ever built. Sorry to be blunt, and I like old school arenas but this one never did it for me and it still stinks!
Second period, 18:56, 1-1: Underway in the second period as the Bruins try to build off that second half of the first period.
End of first period, 1-1: The Bruins seemed a bit out of it to begin the game, taking two lazy penalties, one of which led to a power play goal. But they came back strong, tying the game and really putting the pressure on in the second half of the period.
Not sure why they came out the way they did, considering how this Islanders team has played them but they seemed to get the picture when they fell behind 1-0. David Krejci got his fourth point in his last seven periods of play on the Michael Ryder goal and is really starting to find his game again. The Bruins need that. With him, Patrice Bergeron and Marc Savard, they can be one of the deepest teams up the middle.
Let's see if they can keep the momentum going in the second period.
First period, 1:41, 1-1: And no-goal it is. But nice try by Marco Sturm and Patrice Bergeron. Like the creativity.
First period, 1:41, 1-1: Marco Sturm just batted a goal out of mid-air but it was ruled no-goal. The replay appears to confirm that.
First period, 4:33, 1-1: As I thought, David Krejci and Andrew Ference were credited with assists on the goal. Originally they said unassisted.
Krejci made a beautiful feed on the goal.
First period, 5:37, 1-1: Michael Ryder just tied the game for the Bruins. Ryder let a nice shot go to beat Dwayne Roloson. If he can get more of those off, it would really help the Bruins offense. That was Ryder's eighth goal of the season.
First period, 6:50, Islanders 1-0: The Bruins killed off that last Islanders power play and the Isles are now 1-for-2.
First period, 8:59, Islanders 1-0: Dennis Wideman is off to the penalty box for roughing and the Islanders are on their second power play of the game. They're 1-for-1.
First period, 13:06, Islanders 1-0: Not a great start for the Bruins there as they take a lazy penalty and give up a power play goal.
Robbie Schremp is an interesting story. Picked 25th overall by Edmonton in 2004, he never really became the star people expected he would but he seems to be catching on a bit in New York. Checkout these moves by Schremp.
First period, 16:02, Islanders 1-0: Robbie Schremp just scored his first NHL goal on a power play to give the Isles a 1-0 lead.
For the seventh time this season, the Bruins were called for Too Many Men On The Ice and are shorthanded. You would think they'd learn team history.
7 p.m.: Almost ready for faceoff on Long Island. Dwayne Roloson will get the start in net for the Islanders opposing Tim Thomas.
I was just told by a reliable source that the Islanders other goalie Martin Biron is definitely being shopped and if Rick DiPietro can come back soon, Biron could be dealt to his former team the Philadelphia Flyers or the Detroit Red Wings. Something to watch in the coming week as the Holiday Trade Freeze starts on December 19.
4:30 p.m.: Greetings, happy holidays and welcome to our live Bruins blog here at NESN.com. The Bruins and Islanders square off (7 p.m., NESN) for the third time this season at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y.
The Bruins have had trouble with the Islanders this season going 1-1-0 against former Providence Bruins head coach Scott Gordon and his squad. In their first matchup at TD Garden, the Islanders jumped out to an early 3-0 lead but the Bruins made a late comeback and won the game in a shootout 4-3. The Islanders then came back to the TD Garden on Nov. 16 and dominated a flat Bruins team 4-1.
"They have played well against us," head coach Claude Julien told the media this morning. "There?s no ifs-or-buts about it. Whether there?s extra motivation from guys who have ties with this organization or whether it's just we haven?t played as well [against them]. Obviously, it was after that game (the 4-1 loss) against the Islanders that we started picking it up, so hopefully I can answer that better after tonight."
The Bruins have been better since that game, one in which Claude Julien was very critical of his team after, and come into tonight's game tied with the Minnesota Wild for the best record in their last ten games at 8-1-1. The scrappy Islanders though have been slumping as of late, losing three straight and are 3-7-0 in their last ten games.
Tim Thomas was first off the ice this morning so he looks to make his first start since a rough outing in Montreal Dec. 4, when he allowed five goals in two periods in a 5-1 loss. Also, Byron Bitz is back in the lineup and Matt Hunwick will return to the press box again as a healthy scratch. Here's what colleague Brian Zechello sent as the expected lineup for the Bruins tonight:
Blake Wheeler–Marc Savard–Byron Bitz
Marco Sturm–Patrice Bergeron–Mark Recchi
Vladimir Sobotka–David Krejci–Michael Ryder
Daniel Paille–Steve Begin–Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara–Derek Morris
Andrew Ference–Dennis Wideman
Mark Stuart–Johnny Boychuk