November 7, 2011

Gameday Blog: Bruins vs. Islanders

SECOND INTERMISSION

SCORE
NYI – 2
BOS – 3

SHOTS
NYI – 20
BOS – 31

After a scoreless second period the Bruins will head into the final frame with their 3-2 lead over the Isles intact.

After an event-filled first period, things slowed down considerably in the second — shy of a number of missed, golden opportunities for the B’s.

The line of Seguin, Bergeron and Marchand generate five prime-time chances on one shift alone, each time narrowly missing the net when a defender or goalie Al Montoya wasn’t able to miraculously get in the way.

The Isles had two power-play opportunities in the second period but couldn’t cash in with Milan Lucic (roughing) or Zdeno Chara (holding) in the penalty box.

Montoya deserves a heap of credit for keeping his team in this one. After coming in for Nabokov — who allowed three goals on 12 shots — No. 35 has stopped all 19 shots he’s faced.

FIRST INTERMISSION

SCORE
NYI – 2
BOS – 3

SHOTS
NYI – 8
BOS – 15

After putting seven pucks in the net on Saturday night in Toronto, the Bruins have picked up right where they left off against the Islanders tonight at TD Garden.

Boston tallied thrice in the opening frame. Benoit Pouliot opened the scoring by banging home a puck thrown in front by Jordan Caron past Evgeni Nabokov.

For Pouliot, who hadn’t played in 11 days due to illness and a pair of games as a healthy scratch, it was his first point as a Bruin and first goal in 32 contests.

After a spirited bout between Adam McQuaid and Matt Martin, New York knotted things up. Matt Moulson made a nice tip from around 20-feet out, redirecting one past Tuukka Rask to make it 1-1.

But Boston responded after briefly taking their foot off the gas. Nathan Horton collected a rebound from a Zdeno Chara shot and beat Nabokov for a power-play tally to give the B’s the lead back.

Just 29 ticks later, Patrice Bergeron made a beautiful feed from behind the net out to Tyler Seguin for an easy strike, putting the B’s up 3-1 and sending Nabokov to the showers.

The goal, Seguin’s eighth of the season, helped extend Bergeron’s point streak to seven games.

But that wasn’t the final scoring play in the frame. Michael Grabner made a stellar play to bat the puck out of mid-air near the blueline and keep things going in the offensive zone. The puck found John Tavares who promptly hit an open Grabner for a high blast that got past Rask, cutting Boston’s lead to 3-2.

PREGAME NOTES

Here are tonight’s pregame notes, courtesy of the Boston Bruins:

STARTING GOALTENDERS: Rask (0-3-0, 2.71 GAA, .906 Save %) vs. Nabokov
(1-2-0, 2.23 GAA, .927 Save %). Rask is 3-1-0 with a 2.69 GAA and .915
Save % in four career games against New York. Nabokov is 3-3-1 with a
2.27 GAA and .917 Save % in seven career games against Boston.

SELLOUT STREAK: The Bruins enter today’s game having sold out their
last 92 consecutive games at the TD Garden, including regular season and
playoffs.

PEVERLEY OUT, POULIOT IN: Benoit Pouliot will return to the Bruins
lineup tonight for the first time in three games, replacing Rich
Peverley who will miss tonight’s contest with an undisclosed injury.
Peverley had appeared in all 12 games to date and has registered 3-4=7
totals.

COMING HOME: The Bruins open a five-game homestand tonight, which are
the final games of a season-opening stretch in which they play 13 of
their first 17 games on home ice.

MILESTONE FOR KELLY: B’s center Chris Kelly is playing in his 500th
career NHL game tonight.

STREAKING: The Bruins won back-to-back games for the first time this
season with their victories over Ottawa and Toronto… Patrice Bergeron
has 3-5=8 totals during his current team-high six-game point streak,
while Milan Lucic and Tyler Seguin each have three game goal streaks in
progress with four goals apiece during this span.

SUCCESS VS. THE ISLES: B’s winger Nathan Horton is a point-per-game
player in his career against the Islanders, with 13-12=25 totals in 25
games, while David Krejci (4-8=12 in 13 games) and Milan Lucic (5-5=10
in 12 games) also have solid offensive numbers against New York.

BOXED IN: The Bruins are the NHL’s most-penalized team thus far,
averaging 17.8 penalty minutes per game. Brad Marchand leads the B’s
in penalty minutes with 31.