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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Islanders Shit All Over New Year's Eve for the Bruins

The older you get, the more you accept that some things in life just won't make sense. For instance, the fact that the Islanders-the second worst team in the Eastern Conference-have already clinched the season series for the first time since 2006-07. Tonight at TD Garden, New York (13-21-7) used the strength of four power play goals to score four unanswered in a 5-3 victory over Boston (26-12-2). The Isles had won 3-1 on November 2 at home and they'll meet January 27 in Long Island.

The B's are allowed a hiccup every now and then, it is still technically the holiday season, but this was just one of those games where nothing went their way after they built a 3-1 lead midway through the second period.

The numbers will look ugly for Tuukka Rask (26 saves) but given the dumb penalties and a shot that went off Brad Marchand's skate, you can't really blame him. For a while, it looked like Boston would be popping bottles as David Krejci scored 4:25 into the first period on a juicy rebound by Evgeni Nabokov (35 saves). His ninth goal of the season (and 100th of his career) was assisted by Jarome Iginla and Milan Lucic, giving them all a five-game point streak.

Frans Nielsen's power play goal at 5:56 of the second period tied it when Thomas Vanek screened Rask. Patrice Bergeron answered with a power play goal at 12:33. His 10th goal of the season was assisted by Ryan Spooner and Reilly Smith. 25 seconds later, Daniel Paille tipped Zdeno Chara's shot from the point for his fifth goal of the season.

Nielsen added another power play tally at 16:30, after the puck went off a Bruins skate in the slot leaving Nielsen there to collect the trash. Kyle Okposo's power play goal with 2.6 seconds left in the third was a punch in the balls since it went off Marchand's skate and past Rask to tie it at three.

All that momentum stayed with New York as Tavares scored 32 seconds into the third for their first lead of the game (4-3). The four-point night for one of the top players in the NHL and somebody that will lead Team Canada at the Olympics was complete when Tavares notched the final power play goal at 13:17.

There would be no comeback for the Bruins as Milan Lucic was called for the stupid trio of penalties: boarding, unsportsmanlike conduct and 10-minute game misconduct. With that, people headed out to their silly New Year's parties and overpriced bars. The B's will be back in action on Thursday (7, NESN) vs. Nashville (18-18-4). It'll be a new year and they'll look for new results after the Islanders snapped their 15-game point streak (13-0-2) at the Garden and kickstarted a two-game losing streak.

UPDATE 1/1: Bruins sent Nick Johnson back to Providence. Carl Soderberg and Dougie Hamilton are expected back in the lineup tomorrow night (weather-permitting) vs. Nashville.

UPDATE 1/2: Bruins recalled goaltender Niklas Svedberg and he's expected to get his first career NHL start tonight vs. Nashville. And yes, as of now the game is still on.

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