NHL Nick's Net

Bruins defeat Islanders, 6-3, in final meeting this season

Ten players for the Boston Bruins recorded at least a point in their, 6-3, rout of the New York Islanders Saturday afternoon at TD Garden, while Linus Ullmark made 24 saves on 27 shots against in the win.

Ullmark improved to 20-9-2 overall with a 2.73 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage in 31 games this season for Boston.

New York goaltender, Semyon Varlamov (6-13-2, 2.82 goals-against average, .914 save percentage in 22 games played), stopped 38 out of 44 shots faced in the loss.

At least for the rest of the afternoon until the Toronto Maple Leafs were in action Saturday night, the Bruins moved into sole possession of 2nd place in the Atlantic Division with a 41-19-5 record and 87 points on the season.

The Islanders, meanwhile, fell to 28-26-9 (65 points) and remained in 6th place in the Metropolitan Division.

New York won the regular season series against Boston 2-1-0 after the Bruins lost their first two meetings at UBS Arena earlier this season.

The B’s went 3-3-2 against the Isles last season and 2-0-1 against New York in 2019-20.

Patrice Bergeron returned to the lineup Saturday afternoon after missing the last four games due to an elbow ailment that Bruins doctors did not want to end up becoming infected.

He returned to his usual role as the first line center and team captain, while participating in his 1,200th career National Hockey League game since making his league debut with Boston in the 2003-04 season.

Drafted in the second round (45th overall) by the Bruins in 2003, the L’Ancienne-Lorette, Québec native has 392-571–963 totals in his 1,200 games played, including an assist in Saturday’s win.

Bergeron ranks third in Bruins history in games played, trailing Ray Bourque (1,518 games) and Johnny Buyck (1,436) for the most and second-most all-time.

He is the 120th player in NHL history to reach the 1,200-game plateau and 22nd player to do so with the same team.

Jakub Zboril (right ACL) remained out of the lineup due to injury, while Boston’s head coach, Bruce Cassidy, made no other changes, rendering Mike Reilly, Jack Studnicka, Marc McLaughlin, Josh Brown and Anton Blidh as healthy scratches on Saturday.

Brandon Carlo sent a shot with purpose towards Craig Smith’s blade whereby No. 12 in black and gold watched as the puck exploded off his stick and caromed off the boards behind the net as an automatic rebound machine.

Smith (15) then buried the rebound and gave Boston a, 1-0, lead at 4:03 of the first period, while Carlo (8) and Charlie Coyle (24) tallied the assists on the goal.

About midway in the opening frame, Kyle Palmieri knocked down a shot attempt from the point and bounced the puck over Ullmark’s glove side as a result of the deflection.

There was one problem, however, the would-be goal was under official review at 11:46 of the first period as the on-ice officials were checking to see if Palmieri had played the puck with a high stick prior to the goal.

After review it was determined that the puck had been played above the crossbar and thus negated the goal and reversed the call on the ice.

Boston was still ahead, 1-0, and the Islanders had yet to score.

Moments later, Anthony Beauvillier hooked Tomáš Nosek and presented the Bruins with their first chance on the power play of the afternoon at 16:02.

The B’s were unsuccessful on the ensuing skater advantage.

Shortly after killing off Beauvillier’s infraction, however, New York was back on the penalty kill as Andy Greene tripped Nick Foligno at 19:19 of the opening frame.

It didn’t take Boston long to capitalize on the power play as they won the ensuing attacking zone faceoff and worked the puck back to Charlie McAvoy at the point.

McAvoy sent a shot towards the net that Taylor Hall (14) redirected from point blank on the glove side to give the Bruins a two-goal lead.

McAvoy (33) and Brad Marchand (36) notched the assists on Hall’s power-play goal as the Bruins extended their lead, 2-0, at 19:26 of the first period.

21 seconds later, however, the Islanders cut Boston’s lead in half after Zdeno Chara rang the iron and Brock Nelson (30) collected the rebound for a garbage goal in the slot at 19:48.

Chara (10) and Anders Lee (13) had the assists as New York trailed, 2-1, going into the first intermission.

The Bruins held the lead on the scoreboard, 2-1, and in shots on goal, 19-13, after one period.

Boston also led in blocked shots (7-1), giveaways (4-2) and faceoff win percentage (53-47), while the Islanders led in hits (12-8). Both teams managed to have three takeaways aside heading into the middle frame.

The B’s were 1/2 on the power play, while New York had yet to see any action on the skater advantage after 20 minutes of play.

Hall worked the puck deep and won a battle along the wall– sending the rubber biscuit to Erik Haula, whereby Haula setup David Pastrnak in front of the net as Pastrnak (37) kicked the puck to his blade and wrapped around Varlamov at 2:13 of the second period.

Haula (23) and Hall (34) had the assists on Pastrnak’s goal, which gave the Bruins a, 3-1, lead on the scoreboard.

About 90 seconds later, Marchand (28) scooped up a loose puck and wired one into the twine after Bergeron’s initial attempt was blocked.

Bergeron (29) tallied the only assist on Marchand’s goal, however, as Boston took a three-goal lead, 4-1, at 3:56 of the second period– scoring a pair of goals in a span of 1:43 in the process.

Curtis Lazar cut a rut to the penalty box at 4:06 for cross checking, while Foligno and Matt Martin exchanged pleasantries as the temperature on the ice began to boil.

Foligno and Martin each received minor infractions for roughing, though the Islanders remained on the power play as Lazar’s infraction rendered Boston shorthanded.

About a minute into the power play, Noah Dobson fired a shot on goal that Ullmark failed to corral before Jean-Gabriel Pageau freed it back to Lee (25) for the power-play goal on the short side.

Pageau (18) and Dobson (27) had the assists on Lee’s goal as New York trailed, 4-2, at 5:12 of the second period as a result.

A couple minutes later, Trent Frederic closed his hand on the puck and was assessed a delay of game penalty– yielding another power play to the Islanders at 7:11, though this time the Isles weren’t able to convert on the ensuing skater advantage.

Late in the period, the Bruins entered the attacking zone on a rush led by Hall over to Pastrnak as Haula worked his way into the slot.

Pastrnak sent a pass to Haula (9) for a one-timer goal as the second line trio completed a “tic-tac-goal” to give Boston a, 5-2, lead at 14:33 with Pastrnak (29) and Hall (35) earning the assists.

Moments later, Marchand sent a puck off the endboards for Jake DeBrusk to collect as DeBrusk (16) banked it off of Varlamov while trying to move the rubber biscuit to the slot and was on the receiving end of a fortunate bounce off the New York netminder and over the goal line– giving the Bruins a four-goal lead and as many goals in the second period alone.

Marchand (37) and McAvoy (34) had the assists on DeBrusk’s goal as the B’s took a, 6-2, lead at 18:18 of the second period and into the second intermission with a, 36-22, advantage in shots on goal.

Boston outshot New York, 17-9, in the second period alone, while maintaining an advantage in blocked shots (14-2) and takeaways (6-4).

The Islanders led in giveaways (8-5), hits (20-18) and faceoff win% (51-49) heading into the final frame.

Both teams were 1/2 on the power play after 40 minutes of action.

Palmieri went to the box for interference at 9:34 of the third period, but the Bruins weren’t able to convert on the resulting power play as they had used up all of their goal scoring abilities by the end of the second period.

Moments later, Foligno and Martin settled their score for the afternoon with an exchange of fisticuffs at 13:10 of the third period.

Foligno picked up an extra two-minute infraction for unsportsmanlike conduct, which was served by Smith and put the Islanders on a power play as a result.

New York made relatively quick work of their skater advantage as Beauvillier faked a shot and sent a pass to Zach Parise (10) for a redirection power-play goal at 14:43 of the third period.

Beauvillier (21) and Palmieri (12) tabbed the assists on Parise’s goal and the Islanders trailed, 6-3, as a result.

Late in the period, Nosek tripped Sebastian Aho and presented the Islanders with one more power play for the afternoon at 18:35, but Boston’s penalty kill stood tall as the B’s finished the effort shorthanded at the final horn.

The Bruins won, 6-3, and finished the matinée matchup leading in shots on goal, 44-27, including an, 8-5, advantage in the third period alone.

Boston left their own ice with the lead in blocked shots (17-5) and faceoff win% (51-49), while New York left TD Garden with the advantage in giveaways (11-8) and hits (26-22).

The Isles went 2/4 on the power play on Saturday while the B’s went 1/3 on the skater advantage.

With the win, the Bruins are now 14-2-1 in their last 17 games– outscoring their opponents, 62-38, in that span.

Boston improved to 30-7-2 (13-4-1 at home) when scoring first, 24-2-1 (11-1-0 at home) when leading after the first period and 27-1-3 (11-1-1 at home) when leading after the second period this season.

New York fell to 5-19-4 (0-10-1 on the road) when allowing the game’s first goal, 2-16-5 (0-9-3 on the road) when trailing after one and 1-20-3 (0-12-1 on the road) when trailing after two periods in 2021-22.

The Bruins continue their five-game homestand (2-0-0) next Tuesday (March 29th) against the Toronto Maple Leafs before hosting the New Jersey Devils next Thursday (March 31st) to close out the month.

The B’s host the Columbus Blue Jackets to kick off the month of April next Saturday (April 2nd).