Boston Gets Job Done Against Islanders

Boston, MA. – The Boston Bruins finally beat the New York Islanders, 4-1, after failing to in five tries this season. Tuukka Rask (22 saves) made his long-awaited return to the Bruins lineup and picked up his 300th career win in the process. Brad Marchand scored twice, and Taylor Hall notched his first goal as a Bruin as the team put together a complete performance in earning the win.

“He looked rock solid,” said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy of Rask. “We didn’t give him a heavy workload, but he was there when we needed him and good for him.”

The Bruins dominated the opening frame from puck drop to buzzer. It only took Boston 1:49 to get on the board when Marchand redirectedMike Reilly shot past Semyon Varlamov (41 saves). The goal wasn’t apparent initially, as referees went to a review during the next stoppage in play. Reilly and Patrice Bergeron each notched their 20th assists on Marchand’s 20th goal of the season. The point was Reilly’s first as a Bruin, after being acquired via trade with the Ottawa Senators on Sunday.

Boston was unable to capitalize on back-to-back power-play opportunities during the first half of the period.

Tripping was called on Boston’s Charlie Coyle at 13:45, giving the Islanders a chance on the man advantage, but a High-Sticking call on Islanders forward Brock Nelson negated the Islanders power-play. Nelson drew blood on Reilly and was assessed four minutes in the box at 14:49.

Craig Smith made it 2-0 when his snapshot found its way past Varlamov at 17:55. Krejci and McAvoy assisted Smith’s power-play goal.

Boston finished the first period outshooting the Islanders 22-5.

Islanders forward Travis Zajac cut the deficit to one when he depositedMatthew Barzal feed past Rask to make it 2-1. Jordan Eberle was also credited with assisting Zajac’s first goal as a member of the Islanders. An errant Marchand pass led to the Islanders regaining possession of the puck in the Bruins zone.

The Islanders celebrate Travis Zajac’s 1st goal as a member of the Islanders.

The teams were pretty even throughout the remainder of the second period. Neither team was able to take advantage of the power-play. New York on a David Krejci Hooking call at 9:54 and Boston on a Cal Clutterbuck High-Sticking at 15:25.

The shots on goal were tied at 13 apiece for the second, giving the Bruins a two-period 35-18 advantage.

Hall scored his first goal as a member of the Bruins at 1:52 of the third period after David Pastrnak sent him racing into the Islanders zone against Varlamov.

Taylor Hall celebrates with the Bruins bench after scoring his 1st goal as a Bruin.

“There’s something different about playing for an Original Six franchise like the Bruins,” said the 29-year-old Hall. “There’s a culture here that is special. We’re just a piece of the puzzle here. That’s the motto.”

Marchand notched his second of the game at 18:21 when he fired a shot from the half-wall into an open Islanders net, as Varlamov was on the bench for an extra attacker.

“A good, solid game. I thought we didn’t let our foot off the gas. We really had no passengers tonight. That’s always what you’re looking for,” said Cassidy.

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