The Boston Bruins’ last visit to Long Island resulted in a 1-0 loss to the Islanders on Jan. 18. They turned that frustrating setback into a 10-point streak heading into Saturday’s matchup at Nassau Collesium.
The Islanders did what no other team could in the first few weeks of the season: hand the Bruins a regulation defeat. They handed Boston regulation loss No. 2 nearly 30 days later.
Let’s face it; the Bruins appeared due for their second regulation loss of the season. They played their third game in four nights following a pair of one-goal wins against the Rangers Wednesday and Friday. On top of that, Bruce Cassidy’s bunch played with five defensemen after Jakub Zboril exited with an upper-body injury.
The Bruins got off to a good start after Brad Marchand netted career goal No. 299. But they couldn’t expand their early lead, nor could they build on Patrice Bergeron’s equalizer late in the middle stanza.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored twice — including a shorthanded dagger with 5:28 left in regulation — with Mat Barzal and Jordan Eberle each adding their own tallies in the Isles’ 4-2 victory.
“I don’t think we had our legs tonight, and I don’t think, at times, we were making the best decisions,” Bergeron said postgame. “It is what it is. The schedule is the same for everyone. But tonight was one of those nights where the energy wasn’t the greatest.”
Here’s what we learned after the Bruins dropped to 10-2-2 on the season.
Boston’s power play clicked on all cylinders before their extended five-day break after the two come from behind wins in Philadelphia. They’ve hardly looked the same since.
With a chance to even things up on their second man-advantage attempt Cassidy trotted out his top power play unit of Marchand, Bergeron, David Pastrnak, David Krejci and Nick Ritchie.
The five-forward look generated a couple of chances in the opening moments, only to see their rhythm fall wayside following a collision at the blue-line between Krejci and Ritchie. New York’s penalty kill transitioned up ice on an odd-man rush with Pageau lighting the lamp for the first shorthanded goal against Boston this season.
“I think [we’ve had] a lot of one and dones,” Bergeron said of the recent power play issues. “When we’re good, we’re retrieving pucks, we keep the puck in their zone, the penalty kill is looking tired and that’s when you get the looks that are opening up and the chances…We can maybe shoot a little more, we can retrieve pucks better, take what’s there and not force plays.” Read from source….