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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Business As Usual: Bruins Own Islanders, 4-1

The Bruins (12-2-2) are on quite a roll, they completed their season-long five-game (4-1) road trip tonight against the Islanders (8-11-1) with the Black and Gold walking away with a 4-1 win at Nassau Coliseum. They last played at TD Garden on February 12, a 4-3 shootout loss vs. Rangers. With the blizzard wiping out their game with the Lightning, they only have two home games in February.

Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask (10-1-2) was immense with a season-high 36 saves while 10 Bruins recorded points, including a pair of assists for Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin. Just like Chris Kelly potted his first goal of the season on Sunday in Florida, Adam McQuaid snapped his bad luck at 6:43 of the first period. Seguin and Bergeron had the assists on a blast from the point that eluded Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov (30 saves).

New York responded at 15:49 as Casey Cizikas redirected a centering pass from Josh Bailey. The Islanders took a page out of the Rangers' playbook (since they did a similar thing against Boston earlier this season) by starting from behind their own goal then perfectly executing a set play: they chipped the puck along the boards then Bailey threw it to Cizikas who was behind Boston's defense. Andrew MacDonald had the second assist at 15:49 of the first period.

Sadly for New York, that was the lone highlight of the game for them. They actually had tons of chances but Rask was spectacular, he stopped not one but two shorthanded breakaways by Michael Grabner.

Boston scored two goals in the second period to take control. Brad Marchand notched his 10th of the season on a rebound only 38 seconds into the frame. Andrew Ference and Bergeron had the assists on that one. Then David Krejci (5th of the season) scored one of the prettier goals of the season for the B's. Nathan Horton was on the side wall, he passed it to Lucic who found Krejci. He one-timed it top shelf, it actually made the Gatorade bottle go flying.

The Islanders dominated stretches of the third period but they couldn't solve Rask again. Boston probably experienced some fatigue as they daydreamed about heading home for the first time in two weeks. Gregory Campbell's empty-netter at 18:55 sent the crowd to the exits, just kidding. It was nowhere near sold out to begin with so who could tell? Seguin and Dennis Seidenberg had the assists. Speaking of Seidenberg, him and Ference are the only Bruins regulars not to score a goal yet this season so that's something to remember.

It's going to be a great couple days of hockey in Boston as the Bruins return to TD Garden for three juicy contests: they host the Senators on Thursday (7 p.m., NESN), Lightning on Saturday afternoon and Canadiens on Sunday night. Ottawa (12-6-2, 2nd in Northeast Division) has been decimated by injuries to its two best players: defenseman Erik Karlsson and center Jason Spezza not to mention goaltender Craig Anderson but at least so far, they are finding a way to stay afloat.

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