Although Evgeni Nabokov really started to hustle, work hard and frustrate Bruins shooters in the third period–there was one point where he denied Milan Lucic on a point-blank chance–perhaps as an attempt to goad his team to a late comeback attempt, it fell short.
The Bruins were once again able to pick up the first goal of the evening from Adam McQuaid, scoring for the first time in 45 games. On that goal, Tyler Seguin earned his 100th career point from getting the secondary assist. Here’s to many more from number 19, but he could try to mix in some more goals to go with those assists.
There was another 100 mark hit tonight, too: Patrice Bergeron, Seguin’s linemate, had his 100th career multi-point game–all of them with Boston, of course.
Casey Cizikas did tie the game before the first intermission, but the Bruins were able to hold the Isles completely shot-less in the power play that ended before he scored. As a close friend of mine said recently about Boston’s stellar penalty kill, if the Bruins’ power play can’t be a difference maker, neither can any other team’s.
In the second, team goal-scoring leader Brad Marchand did it again, potting his 10th of the season on a goal so powerful that the net rippled. He did so less than a minute into the second period. But when it comes to powerful goals, the one from David Krejci was the strongest. His made the water bottle nestled above Nabokov’s net blast off and the lid flew off too. Here’s a picture of that moment–look to the right to see the water bottle:
Gregory Campbell‘s empty-net goal sealed the deal and brought about another three-goal lead but, again, if Nabokov hadn’t been so surprisingly good in the third period, the score could have been rather different.
The two teams also played a penalty-free third period, in surprising contrast to a second where it seemed like someone was going to the sin bin every other minute. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but there were three Islanders penalties called and two on the Bruins. The best way to try to slow Boston down, though, is to give them power plays. Their penalty kill is amazing, but their power play isn’t worth writing home about by any stretch of the word.
Here’s some more good news: defensive weak link Andrew Ference, someone who’s been worrying me at multiple points this season, was excellent tonight and his +3 rating was actually the highest among all Bruins this evening. Keep up the good work, Ference, and I will gladly eat my crow–my organic, fair-trade crow, that is.
So now it’s back to TD Garden for Boston after picking up four of five wins on this road trip. The Ottawa Senators, their next foe on Feb. 28, have been doing pretty well lately thanks in great part to their gigantic goalie Ben Bishop–despite the fact that injuries have been of great worry to them since they’re missing Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson.
After the game, the Little Ball of Hate himself said that he felt his team hadn’t played their best, but still got the win anyway. Imagine how the Bruins might do when they play their very best! But when will that happen? Two days from now would be a good time to start.