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Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Bruins Really Need Bergeron & Marchand On The Ice Or Else They Won't Go Anywhere

Not that they wanted to offer them up but the Bruins had plenty of excuses for playing poorly tonight at TD Garden. They lost 2-1 to the Islanders in their third game in four nights. Thankfully, it was their last back-to-back game (they were in New Jersey last night) of the season. Making things that much more difficult, they are playing now without two of their top offensive players-Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand-who are both out with "mild" concussions.

New York (21-16-4) is going to be in the playoffs this season, you have to get used to that weird sight. The Islanders picked up a point in their sixth straight game as they are building some real momentum towards their first playoff berth in six years.

The immortal Josh Bailey scored both goals for the Islanders while Tyler Seguin notched the only tally for the B's. Evgeni Nabokov (30 saves; 20-11-4) was better than Tuukka Rask (34 saves; 17-7-4) which is not something I expected to ever write in my blogging lifetime.

It looked like the teams were going to skate into their dressing rooms scoreless after the first period but Bailey had other plans. He sniped a shot over Rask's glove, his eighth goal of the season, from the underrated Mark Streit and Kyle Okposo at 19:39.

The equivalent of a solar eclipse happened for the B's and yet they still lost. Seguin's goal (his 14th of the season) was on the power play, meaning that Boston has power play goals in consecutive games for only the second time this season (Feb. 15 & 17). He roofed one past Nabokov after he had loads of time and space, Gregory Campbell and Jaromir Jagr-haha that dynamic duo-had the assists at 3:41 of the second period.

Bailey's game-winner was pure luck since his not very hard shot somehow trickled through Rask's pads and just over the line at 13:12 of the second period. Frans Nielsen and Streit provided the assists, it was Bailey's fifth multi-goal game of his storied career.

By virtue of this loss and Montreal's 5-1 thrashing of the Sabres, the B's got to enjoy first-place in the Northeast Division for a little less than 24 hours. The Canadiens go back ahead by a point with each team having eight games left.

Boston's next game on Saturday (7 p.m., NESN) is a gift since they play the coldest team in the NHL: the Carolina Hurricanes who have lost seven games in a row. You might remember Carolina from their pathetic 6-2 beating at the hands of the B's on Monday. It doesn't have to be that one-sided but the Bruins could really use another easy two points like that.

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