Where has this NHL season gone?
The Boston Bruins are 50 games into their schedule and it seems like it has been going by at such a brisk pace. When you go up against a team for the final time during the regular season, that is also an indicator of a season approaching the pinnacle.
The Bruins were back in action on Monday night when they traveled to Long Island to take on the New York Islanders. This was the final meeting between these two teams this season.
The Isles took the first two meetings, so this one was an important game for the B's. They needed to establish themselves against a team that they have yet to prove a point to. A win here could have been a huge psychological boost.
At the same time, they were facing (get ready for this scathing statement) the best player in the world presently in John Tavares. Sorry to all of you Pittsburgh Penguins and Sidney Crosby fans out there.
The Islanders captain leads the team in all offensive categories and shutting him down was the focus here. The Bruins still needed to play their game.
Chad Johnson got the start in goal for the Bruins.
The first period was pretty identical as far as both teams were concerned. The tactic that favored the Bruins was the tremendous pressure that they put on the Isles, making it difficult to carry the puck out of their own zone. However, the power play was rough to watch yet again. The score was 1-1 at the end of the first 20 minutes. Loui Eriksson roofed a beauty for the Bruins. It is finally time that we can see what this guy can do when healthy.
The second period of this one was one of the most entertaining 20 minutes of hockey we have witnessed this season. The Bruins and Islanders flew up and down the ice exchanging scoring opportunities. What really hurt the B's was the plethora of mistakes made in the neutral zone. Regardless, this period could be summed up with the following: goal after goal after goal after goal! Boston and New York each scored a goal during a delayed penalty. The B's took a 4-3 lead heading into the third period. Brad Marchand, Reilly Smith, and Carl Soderberg were the goal scorers for Boston.
They also took a penalty-killing task into the third period as well, the same way they began the second period. Just like the previous one, they killed it off. Seconds later, the perpetrator of the penalty (Patrice Bergeron) got some sweet payback when he put the B's up two for the first time in the game.
Zdeno Chara added another one (his 500th career NHL point) to seal the 6-3 victory for the Bruins. #Avenged
*Islanders forward Kyle Okposo had a goal and two assists in this game. He now has 23 goals and 34 assists on the year. Yes, he was snubbed by the USA Olympic hockey team. He certainly has been thumbing his nose at the selection committee as of late.
The Bruins will play their next game on Tuesday night against the Florida Panthers.
Gold Star: Patrice Bergeron...With one goal and two assists, he was an absolute force in this one. He was solid in all three zones.
Black Star: Dougie Hamilton....When he is the last line of defense, the Bruins are in trouble. He does not have the speed (yet) to make up for his mistakes, so he has to play the game perfectly and that is not always the case.