As the Bruins took the ice for tonight’s meeting against the Islanders, they looked to remain on top of the Eastern Conference. The only way to do so, by winning. The first couple of period didn’t go quite as the Bruins had hoped they would, the first period bringing a 1-1 stale mate as Shawn Thornton and Keith Aucoin tallied the first goals for their respective teams.
To begin the second period, the Bruins were sloppy. They weren’t able to maintain possession of the puck and in turn, it cost them
a goal as Keith Aucoin walked right in and beat Rask unassisted just before the halfway mark. The gal seemed to ignite a spark in the Bruins squad as they began to pick up the pace, Gregory Campbell putting a wrist shot past Rick DiPietro off of a David Krejci blast just four minutes later, sending yet another period deadlocked at the finish.
The Boston Bruins are a third period team. This is a statement that has been made for years and is a well-known fact to most Bruins fans. With the momentum the Bruins carried through the tail end of the second period, they came out ready to play the way they knew how. The Bruins controlled possession through the entire twenty minutes, dominating offensive opportunities, despite deadlocking shots at 6 a piece. At the 7:07 mark of the third period, captain Zdeno Chara was able to notch his first of the season with a blast from just inside the blue line, reinstating the lead for Boston. Patrice Bergeron was able to net the insurance goal of the game, which was a pretty goal worthy of a highlight reel. As Bergeron went in towards DiPietro, he waited for him to commit before pulling the puck from the back hand to the forehand and tucking it between the goalie’s skate and the post for his first of the season.
The Islanders pulled DiPietro in desperation in the final minute of play, and the Bruins were able to keep the pressure and force a tired Islanders team to block shots. Despite valiant efforts from Tyler Seguin and Zdeno Chara ,who aimed high and hit the post respectively, the Bruins were unable to get the empty netter, but still skated away with their third home victory and two more points in the standings by a final margin of 4-2.
Dougie Hamilton proved just how valuable an asset he is to the Bruins squad as he earned himself the first star of the game with his first multi-point night of his NHL career with two assists. He had over 16:00 minutes of ice time and registered a +1 and 2 hits along with numerous attempts at scoring. When team mate Shawn Thornton was asked what he thought about the rookie he stated:
“He’s always got his head up and he shoots with a purpose, not just to shoot as hard as he can hes always looking for lanes or a stick or bodies.” (via post-game interview with Naoko Funayama)
The Bruins are set to take on the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday evening for the first meeting of the season. The Canes are currently 2-2-0 on the season, picking up a victory as well tonight against the Buffalo Sabres. Face off is scheduled for a 7:00PM start and can be seen on NESN or heard on 98.5 the Sports Hub.