Who would have thought at this time of year that the New York Islanders would be in position to make the playoffs? Something special is happening along the island.
The reason that previous statement is the lead sentence is because the Boston Bruins were in action on Thursday night against a New York team that is destined for playoff glory. This 48-game season has become beneficial to certain teams and that is why the Isles are currently in the playoff structure.
This was the back end of the B's last back-to-back series of the season. This game was also the last time these two teams faced each other in the regular season with Boston recording wins in the first two meetings.
Earlier in the week, the team announced that they had reached a three-year agreement to bring over Carl Soderberg from the Swedish Elite League. The 27-year-old center was drafted in 2004 and was traded to the Bruins from the St. Louis Blues in 2007.
Well, as of Thursday afternoon, the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation blocked the deal and he will not be heading to Boston. They wanted to protect his rights for the international tournaments. Another one gets past Peter Chiarelli.
Anyway, lets get back to Thursday's game. Tuukka Rask was back in net for the Bruins and he was looking to build on his solid performance from this past Monday. Adam McQuaid made his return to the lineup after missing significant time with a shoulder strain. Dougie Hamilton was the healthy scratch.
It was announced prior to the game that Brad Marchand suffered a mild concussion after taking an elbow to the head from Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov. He was suspended by the NHL for four games. Obviously, Marchand did not skate in this game and was replaced by Kaspars Daugavins.
In a game where the Bruins had a chance to expand on their lead in the Northeast Division, they could not get the job done. The Islanders received solid goaltending from Evgeni Nabokov and a pair of goals from Josh Bailey.
Tyler Seguin was able to get the lone goal on the power play for the B's in their 2-1 loss to the Isles. Rask was solid in net, making 34 saves. However, he just had no help in front of him.
The Bruins will travel to Carolina on Saturday to take on the Hurricanes.
Gold Star: Matt Bartkowski...He has been a surprise for the Bruins this season, especially in this game. The Jarome Iginla trade that fell through must have sparked a new edge for him to use out on the ice.
Black Star(s): Milan Lucic/Nathan Horton...It is time that these players (top-line wingers) are held accountable for their awful play out on the ice.