The Bruins may have been the better team Monday night against the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum, but it was New York who earned a 1-0 victory and two points that come with it.
New York’s Jean-Gabriel Pageau broke the scoreless tie with 15:51 to go in the third period. Teammates Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech, who had the initial shot, had the assists.
The Bruins outshot the Islanders 27-17, perhaps best depicting that their effort was far superior to their most recent contest against the New Jersey Devils. Boston was a perfect five-for-five on the penalty kill, as well.
Tuukka Rask turned away 16 of 17 shots, including an impressive breakaway save in the third period. New York’s Semyon Varlamov saved all 27 shots he faced.
The Bruins drop to 1-1-1 while the Islanders improve to 2-1-0 on the young season.
Here’s how it all went down:
BRINGING THE PRESSURE
The Bruins put together 20 minutes of good hockey after their lackluster loss to the Devils, but both teams went into the second period scoreless.
Boston held a notable 11-3 shots-on-goal advantage, peppering New York’s Varlamov early and often while protecting the puck and defending Rask on top of a strong penalty kill.
The Bruins had perhaps their best string of offensive chances as they went on the power play with 3:20 remaining in the period. Charlie Coyle drew an interference and Brad Marchand threw pair of pucks to the crease, looking for big-bodied forward Nick Ritchie, but didn’t have any puck luck.
It was a common theme for the B’s in the period — get pucks and bodies to the net.
Trent Frederic and the Bruins’ fourth line had a great shift midway through the period. The group got after pucks and extended time in the offensive zone before a long attempt from Matt Grzelcyk.
Jeremy Lauzon had a one-timer stopped with a glove save while Chris Wagner unleashed a shot from a Frederic feed with 4:40 left. Ritchie had another chance from distance on a 3-on-3 rush late in the period.
The Bruins put together a strong penalty kill at 12:35, never letting the Islanders control possession in their offensive zone. It was Boston’s ninth penalty kill on the season as Rask made three first-period saves.
The Bruins relied heavily on their penalty kill during the middle period but remained the better team en route to a 0-0 verdict through two. Boston maintained its edge in shots, 17-10, during the opening 40 minutes.
The Bruins had a pair of power-play opportunities but also had two different man-advantages to kill. The latter, however, didn’t lead to a single shot on goal.
The B’s had a number of strong defensive plays with Lauzon breaking up a New York opportunity on a four-on-four and Brandon Carlo laying out to block a shot with two minutes remaining in the frame, right after the second penalty kill of the period.
Boston saw one opportunity denied at even strength after a creative play by Krejci resulted in Studnicka having the puck on his stick in front of the net. Studnicka relayed that pass to Ritchie, who sent a low-angle shot off the blocker.
ISLANDERS PULL IT OUT
The Islanders tilted the ice in their favor in the opening minutes of the third period.
New York took the 1-0 lead in the final four minutes when Pageau put the puck in the net with an impressive aerial deflection on an initial shot by Pelech.
Boston opened the period on the penalty kill, too, as Marchand was whistled for cross checking.
Rask came away with arguably his best save of the night on an Anthony Beauvillier breakaway with 10:30 left in the third. It very easily could have dealt Boston its eventual fate a few minutes earlier.
The Bruins wrapped up their three-game road trip in New York and will play their first game at TD Garden against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.