The Boston Bruins did not claim points for the first time this season Monday, being handed a 1-0 regulation defeat against the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.
Head coach Bruce Cassidy knows there is no consolation in a loss, but he and goaltender Tuukka Rask were complimentary of the way the Bruins played. Boston held a 27-17 shots-on-goal advantage, getting pucks and players to the net while looking like the overall better team.
Unfortunately, some puck luck didn’t go Boston’s way and New York scored late in the third to pull out a victory. As noted by Rask and Cassidy, it played out similarly to how Boston’s 1-1-1 season has gone.
“I think the first game of the season was kind of similar to this,” Rask told reporters after the game, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “We created offense, we had chances, just couldn’t get the puck in the net. We ended up winning that game so obviously, you have a better feeling after that.
“But I think it’s early in the season, I think we’re playing really good,” Rask continued. “I think if we play that team defense throughout the year we win a lot of games. I know the offense will come. So, we just got to stick with it, not hang our hats. I think, like today, we could’ve scored one or two goals and win the game, but tough bounce again. That’s just how it goes sometimes.”
Cassidy said much of the same, acknowledging the effort put forth Monday was much better than the Bruins’ second game against the New Jersey Devils, which resulted in an overtime loss.
“Big picture, you’re doing a good job defending when those are the goals going in,” Cassidy told reporters, noting New York’s third-period goal off an aerial deflection. “On the flip side, there’s no consolation to lose a game like that when you feel like you were the better team, probably had the better chances. They certainly had a breakaway there when we got caught up a little tight on our gap, but around the net, I thought we had some tough luck again tonight.
“… All in all, I thought, take the results out, just the play on the ice, I thought our lineup looks solid. We didn’t seem to have any weak links. We just couldn’t finish off all our plays,” Cassidy continued.
Here are some other notes from Bruins-Islanders:
— The Bruins’ scoring woes continued as Boston is now without an even-strength goal in three straight regular-season games.
Forward Jake DeBrusk acknowledged it after the loss.
“Like I said earlier, it’s a long year. We’re obviously focused on it. It’s obviously what everyone is talking about — production five on five,” DeBrusk told reporters. “So it’s one of those things that we’re very aware of, but at the same time, we have confidence in our group.
“I think we’re really stacked up front,” he added. “Obviously, with no preseason, you can pretty much use any excuse you want, but we know what we need to do. It’s just a matter of going out and executing, and it sounds easier than what it is, obviously, but we have faith in this room.”
— Cassidy was asked if he expects some frustration to build because of the B’s lack of even-strength production.
“I suspect there will be a bit of that, and rightfully so. As long as it doesn’t carry over into what we’re trying to do, I think it does over gradually, it did a little early on. You try to make a perfect play instead, for example, their goal … We’ve seen it go against us three games in a row now.
“But yes, I would say there would be some frustration, but it didn’t affect how we played. We didn’t cheat all over the ice, we played a good solid defensive game, tried to win the right way. We just have to try to break through here.”
— Cassidy was impressed with Jack Studnicka, who played on the second line with center David Krejci and winger Nick Ritchie. Studnicka spent just shy of 14 minutes on the ice.
“I thought Jack made a couple nice plays, made a great play to Ritchie and one to Krejci so obviously complimented that line with his ability. That was nice,” Cassidy said. “He responded well to not being in the lineup the other night.”
— Bruins standout defenseman Matt Grzelcyk left the game five minutes into the third period with an undisclosed injury. It came after what seemed to be an awkward fall, and Grzelcyk did not return.
Cassidy, though, did not have an update on what happened or the diagnosis of the injury.
— The Bruins will host their first game of the season at TD Garden on Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers.