Bruins Notes: Loss Against Islanders Showcased Two Tough Trends

The B's can't afford to let these trends continue

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February 17

The Bruins on Thursday lost their second consecutive game, dropping a 4-1 decision to the New York Islanders after taking a 1-0 lead at UBS Arena. It was the latest showing in a disappointing stretch for Boston, which has lost four of its last five games, but it also highlighted a pair of disturbing trends.

For the second straight game, the Bruins allowed a team to come from behind and steal a victory.

Boston played a dominant first period, outshooting the Islanders 13-6 and taking that 1-0 lead courtesy of Taylor Hall. The B’s were a different team in the middle frame, as New York outshot them 13-7 and got one on the board to make it a tie game.

The third period was where the Bruins hit rock bottom, taking seven shots to the Islanders’ 10 but failing to capitalize as New York tacked on three goals — including an empty-netter — to finish the visitors off.

Head coach Bruce Cassidy acknowledged the collapse in speaking to reporters after the game.

“We were the better team in the first period,” Cassidy told reporters, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “They’re at home, obviously got a lot of pride. What happens a lot, if the home team doesn’t have a good first period, there’s a little push in the second. We’ve addressed that, it happens to us a lot, at New York the other night. We’ve just got to be ready for it, and execute. We’ve got to be ready to execute at a level to sort of stem the pushes that they have.”

Cassidy also criticized Boston’s power-play unit, which failed to take advantage of two opportunities, including a crucial moment at 10:14 of the third period when the Bruins only trailed by one goal.

“We did have a chance on the power play, and they let us down tonight,” Cassidy told reporters. “That would have been a timely goal for us but it didn’t happen.”

Boston’s inability to score on the man-advantage was another mark of its recent struggles. In their last five games, the Bruins have gone 1-for-12 on the power play, with that lone goal coming before the NHL All-Star break in a Feb. 8 game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The B’s will look to snap both of these trends when they return to action Saturday against the Senators in Ottawa.

Here are more notes from Thursday’s Bruins-Islanders game:

— One bright spot for the Bruins was Hall, who scored Boston’s lone goal. But overall, Cassidy said he was looking for more contributions from players across the lineup.

“We do need secondary offense from the back end,” Cassidy told reporters. “We need some players that are maybe down in the lineup to kick in some goals here and there in games like these, where the so-called guys we rely on (weren’t).”

— Cassidy told reporters prior to the game that there was no update on Brad Marchand’s appeal of his six-game suspension. Marchand was handed the suspension for his run-in with Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry but made an appeal Wednesday.

As it stands, Marchand will miss two more games and is eligible to return Thursday against the Seattle Kraken.

— Urho Vaakanainen returned to the lineup, marking his first appearance since Feb. 1. The 2017 first-rounder was reinstated from injured reserve ahead of Thursday’s game and finished the appearance with a shot on goal, two hits and a giveaway over an even 20 minutes of ice time.

Boston assigned defender Jack Ahcan to Providence in a corresponding move.

— Puck drop for Saturday’s tilt with the Senators is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET, and you can watch the game as well as a pregame and postgame coverage live on NESN.

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