March 31, 2012

Bruins pull away in the third, double up Islanders

By Jesse Connolly

Final: Boston 6, New York 3

Recap: It took until the 18:11 mark of the first period for either team to get on the board. David Krejci opened the scoring, putting Boston ahead after some nice work by Milan Lucic to steal the puck near the side of the goal. But just 29 ticks later, Kyle Okposo put along-distance softy past Marty Turco to make it 1-1.

The teams traded goals again in the second period. Chris Kelly’s 20th of the season came at 4:58 of the middle frame, while P.A. Parenteau’s 17th made it 2-2 with 5:34 remaining.

Boston took over in the third. Brad Marchand took a feed from Tyler Seguin and beat Al Montoya with 3:13 gone to make it 3-2. With 9:23 left, Tyler Seguin scored a goal quite similar to Okposo’s from far out, putting the Bruins ahead by two.

But the Isles weren’t done yet. Parenteau’s second goal of the game cut the B’s lead to one with 5:07. The bad news for New York? The Bruins weren’t done yet, either. Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci tallied 24 seconds apart. What was a one-goal game for 1:26 suddenly transformed into a laugher.

Records: Boston 46-28-4, 96 points; New York 33-34-11, 77 points

Key Play of the Game: Boston’s fifth tally of the game with 3:41 to go was huge. New York had just made it a potentially nerve-wracking final few minutes, but Marchand flew through the neutral zone and got the puck to Seguin. Seguin’s bid from close range was denied, but Bergeron was there to bury the rebound, putting Boston back in control of the contest.

Connolly’s Commendations: As one might expect, major kudos go to the trio of Bergeron, Marchand and Seguin, as their line simply took over in the final frame. The three forwards combined for a whopping eight points, all of which came in a little more than 13 minutes time during the third period.

Shy of the weak goal by Okposo, Turco was rock solid against for the Black and Gold. The netminder had a number of impressive stops, including a pair on Matt Moulson during an Isles’ power play in the second and a spectacular poke-check during a Michael Grabner breakaway in the final frame.

Boston’s top-line duo of Milan Lucic and David Krejci certainly chipped in as well. Lucic had the primary assist on each of Krejci’s two goals on the afternoon and dished out a team-high thre hits.

Zdeno Chara continued his stretch of strong play. The captain was a game-high plus-four, blocked four shots and was credited with two helpers. Chara now has seven points during a four-game point streak.

Connolly’s Critiques: We could go ahead and pick on the Bruins with negative plus-minuses, but we’ll save our energy and give them a reprieve.

Notes: The matinee was Johnny Boychuk’s 200th career game. Counting today, Montoya has allowed 20 goals in his last five starts – a stretch in which he also allowed four goals in relief against the Sens. Seguin’s strike was just his third goal in the last 16 road games. Krejci established a new career-high in goals with 23. Boston now has six 20-goal scorers.

Final Thoughts: The B’s were undoubtedly guilty of letting the Islanders hang around for too long, but Boston simply turned it on in the third period and took care of business.

Next: The Bruins will now head over to Manhattan. They’ll take on the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night.