UNIONDALE, N.Y. (Nov. 2, 2013) – On Saturday, it was a three-goal explosion in the second period that propelled the New York Islanders to a 3-1 win versus the Boston Bruins in an Eastern Conference tilt at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. The victory is the Isles’ second in a row.
In a scoreless first period, the Islanders and Bruins each had a quality opportunity that was all for not. The first came to Boston at the 9:25 mark. Off a bad angle shot at the bottom of the right circle, Shawn Thornton put a shot on net that hit the iron.
Meanwhile, New York’s Michael Grabner turned a Bruins’ miscue into a breakaway. But, his try missed the net completely, as Grabner tried to put it over Chad Johnson’s shoulder on the short side.
The second period featured the entire scoring of the contest. With 13:45 to go, Thomas Vanek played the puck toward the cage on his backhand, which trickled off Johnson. John Tavares then followed up, swatting the rebound out of mid-air, for the game’s first goal.
“I saw Krejci handling the puck there, dove on him, and actually got a pretty good shot on it,” Vanek commented. “Johnny (Tavares) finished it.”
Later on in the stanza, a shot from the point by Andrew MacDonald doubled the hosts’ lead. He slapped a Travis Hamonic pass from the left point into the top-right 90, making it 2-0.
The Bruins would get one back on a Dougie Hamilton power-play tally just 1:57 later, but the Islanders answered less than a minute after. Vanek picked up his first marker in a blue and orange uniform, one-timing a Kyle Okposo cross-ice feed into the twine, via a 2-on-1 odd-man rush.
“It feels great (to get that first goal as an Islander),” said Vanek. “It was a great play by Kyle (Okposo), and I had to bury it there.”
Okposo added: “He (Vanek) is a shooter, and is always going to be ready. So, I tried to pitch it where he moved the stick, and found him…I thought we looked like the freshest team tonight.”
That proved to be all the Isles needed, as the B’s missed on a couple of key scoring chances in the final 20-minute session. Captain Zdeno Chara, on a power play, missed wide left on an open net, while Chris Kelly had a subsequent golden opportunity slide off his stick.
For the game, the Islanders owned a 34-27 edge in shots, a 27-20 clip in hits, and a favorable 18-11 margin in takeaways. Meanwhile, the Bruins won the faceoff battle, 35-24.
Between the pipes, Johnson recorded 31 saves for Boston. Kevin Poulin collected 26 stops for New York.
“I thought we played pretty good last night against Ottawa, but I thought we played well tonight,” said Head Coach Jack Capuano. “For the most part, we executed the way we needed to.”
Capuano and the Islanders now begin a four-game road trip Tuesday (Nov. 5) in the nation’s capital against the Washington Capitals. The puck drops from the Verizon Center at 7 p.m.