Uniondale, NY – The New York Islanders (21-20-7) fell to the Boston Bruins (32-19-7) by the score of 6-3 in Thursday night hockey action. After managing to win four games, the Islanders went back to their bad habit of having a slow start. This cost them what could have been an impressive victory over a very good Boston Bruins team.
“If we would have started off better we could have won the game tonight,” said third star John Tavares, who netted two goals for the Islanders. The Center would continue by saying, “Those first couple of goals that Boston scored on you really can’t blame Nate Lawson for those, we need to play better in front of him.”
Those quick goals happened for the Bruins as they struck at the 1:52 mark as Blake Wheeler (11) tallied a 17 foot backhander, which was assisted by Tyler Seguin (10) and Andrew Ference for the 1-0 lead. In what would be a physical confrontation between two squads who recently got into epic fights between Montreal and Pittsburgh respectively.
In the response to the mounting physical play and as a way of firing up his squad Zenon Konopka would drop the glove and fight Boston blue liner Adam McQuaid at the 2:01 mark. The two would go at it for quite some time before Konopka would land some good punches eventually taking down his counterpart, much to the delight of the 12,478 in attendance.
“We were down one and we were pretty flat, so yeah I had hoped that fight would get our guys going,” Konopka would say of the fight.” On the game itself the center would have this to say, “This is a real good team and you can’t take shifts off against a team like this, and we did. It is something that we are going to have to learn from.”
Boston would add to their lead at the 7:03 mark when the ageless-wonder Mark Recchi (11) had an 11 foot tip-in to make the score 2-0. It had seemed as if the winger would not get the tally as the officials had to review the puck, as it seemed as if there was a possible kicking motion.
After review the officials would say the goal would stand as Recchi would have his 574th goal of his career, which was assisted by Patrice Bergeron (27) and Johnny Boychuk (9). The Bruins would need no such review on their third goal as they scored at the 9:04 mark on a eight foot tip-in by Gregory Campbell (9), which gave Boston the 3-0 lead at the end of the first period of play.
“I have no answer as to why in the first twenty minutes of the game we came out flat,” a very frustrated Jack Capuano said after the game. “That is something you are going to have to ask the guys what happened in that frame.”
John Tavares would have these thoughts as to what happened to the team, “We came out slow, we didn’t play our game we didn’t move our feet off the bat. There were a couple of tough breaks as well, but those things probably happened for a reason.”
The Bruins would continue their offensive momentum in the second period of play as at the 0:55 mark, as David Krejci (9) would have a 21 foot backhanded shot that would find the back of the cage, which was assisted by Nathan Horton (22) and Milan Lucic (16) for the 4-0 lead.
Tavares would tally for his first of two at the 1:50 mark on a 28 foot wrister for the first Islanders goal. The center would finally give life to Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. All of that energy could not keep the Bruins from adding to their lead as the Bruins would strike again.
As at the 2:48 mark Tyler Seguin (10) had a falling 11 foot snap shot find the back of the cage, which was set up by Scott Thornton (7) and Blake Wheeler (16) for the 5-1 Bruins lead. One would see the head of coach Jack Capuano looking down towards his bench for newest goal keeper Al Montoya, asking the newest acquisition to jump in and try to change the fortune for the squad. It would be at with 17:12 left in the game that fans got to see what the newest member of the squad man the pipes for the Islanders.
Montoya would have a good start, making his first save for the team at the 4:33 mark stopping a 69 foot wrister by Patrice Bergeron. It was at the 5:36 mark that the Islanders would find their second goal of the game as Josh Bailey (6) had a falling to the ice 32 foot slap shot go into the cage, which was assisted by Blake Comeau (19) and Radek Martinek (8).
“It is nice to get a couple of goals, but it is not about the individual performance here,” Bailey said. “It has always been about the team and tonight obviously wasn’t our best effort. At times we played really well, but defensively our whole team defense was off tonight.”
As for the newest keeper Montoya he looked solid in his first night with the team, finishing the night with 15 saves in the cage for the Islanders. The newest net minder made saves on all seven shots he faced in the third period, only allowing one goal to a very good offense in the Boston Bruins.
“I got more comfortable as the game went along,” Montoya said. “We didn’t get the bounces right off the bat, but at the same time, I felt really good going out there and making the saves that I had too. The defense really picked it up, really tightened up and took away those second opportunities.”
That lone goal that Montoya gave up was a spinning 11 foot snap shot by Milan Lucic (24) on a power play opportunity at the 7:17 mark for the 6-2 lead. The Bruins were able to get on that man advantage due to too-many men on the ice penalty that was assessed at the 7:10 mark.
John Tavares (23) would have a 11 foot tip-in shot at the 12:57 mark to cut the Boston lead to 6-3, but it would not be enough to make up for a game in which the Islanders played on their heels and allowed the Bruins to hold the offensive momentum.
“It would have meant more for me if the team got the win tonight,’ Tavares said. “Those two goals don’t mean too much right now.”
New York tries to get back to playing their game and back to winning formula on Saturday as they have a 7:00 p.m. face off with the Los Angeles Kings.