The Bruins looked to give Boston hockey fans an early start to the weekend on Friday night as they played host to the New York Islanders. After suffering a 4-3 OT loss on Wednesday against the Rangers the team came out strong looking for the win. With Tuukka Rask looking secure and confident in net similar to his previous 3 starts this season, it’s safe to say that the Bruins have a solid goaltending option heading into a flurry of games in the coming weeks.
With his first goal of the season, Shawn Thornton got the Garden going by lighting the lamp with an assist from Daniel Paille at 4:52 of the first. Milan Lucic dropped the gloves with Matt Carkner at 5:54 in an attempt to get the team going. Massachusetts native Keith Aucoin released a snap shot on Rask at 11:13 tying the game 1-1. If the excitement of heading into the locker rooms at the end of the first tied 1-1 wasn’t enough, fans were treated to a minor scare about 4 minutes into the second period with what would have been Matt Moulson’s 100th goal as an Islander; but a vanishing puck beneath Rask’s pads gave an unclear vantage point for officials who ruled it no goal.
With what should have been consistent effort throughout the period, the Bruins didn’t skate to their full potential. Allowing the Islanders a shot to claw their way to the top of the game Keith Aucoin scored his second goal of the game at 9:50 of the second period. Consistency came for the Bruins at 13:42 of the second after a Gregory Campbell scored his 1st of the season, proving that simple hockey can often be the best way to go.
“Straight lines, get the puck to the net, go to the net,” said Campbell between periods. “To make it harder on them, we have to play our game.”
The assists on Campbell’s goal belonged to David Krejci and Chris Kelly, effectively making it a 2-2 game.
Playing the game is just what they did, 1-1 in the first, 2-2 in the second, the third period sung a different tune than the first 40 minutes with Boston coming out aggressive, and showing the Islanders what a first place team should look like. Effort, effort, effort landed Bruins captain Zdeno Chara a goal at 7:07 of the third to give Boston a much needed lead. The third period continued to be an all Bruin effort, when Patrice Bergeron got the puck past Rick DiPietro at 13:33 from Brad Marchand and Dougie Hamilton. It’s been a quick submersion into the NHL lifestyle for Hamilton, who’s stride has become more comfortable every game he skates in.
“I’m just trying to get comfortable,” said Hamilton. “And make good plays.”
Hamilton’s abilities were showcased and rewarded with two assists, making it a multi point game for the rookie defenceman.
In what seems to be a trend in the NHL with an abbreviated season, rest isn’t an option as the Bruins will travel to Carolina on Sunday for a Monday night face off. Following Monday’s contest, the Bruins will skate games both Tuesday and Thursday at home against the Devils and Sabres respectfully.