Four different players scored a goal in a, 4-0, shutout for the Boston Bruins over the New York Islanders at NYCB Live on Saturday afternoon.
Tuukka Rask (24-7-6 record, 2.16 goals against average, .928 save percentage in 38 games played) had a 25-save shutout in the win for Boston.
It was the fourth shutout of the season for Rask and the 49th shutout of his career.
New York goaltender, Semyon Varlamov (19-13-5, 2.55 GAA, .917 SV% in 42 games played) stopped 26 out of 30 shots faced for an .867 SV% in the loss.
Boston improved to 41-13-12 (92 points) and remained in command of the Atlantic Division, while New York fell to 35-21-8 (78 points) on the season and stuck in 4th place in the Metropolitan Division.
The B’s also improved to 19-10-3 on the road this season and have won their last ten games in Long Island.
The Bruins were without Kevan Miller (knee), Connor Clifton (upper body) and Chris Wagner (upper body) on Saturday.
Boston’s head coach, Bruce Cassidy, made two changes to his lineup, replacing Anders Bjork on the third line right wing with Karson Kuhlman, as well as Wagner with Joakim Nordstrom on the fourth line.
Bjork joined John Moore and Anton Blidh on the list of healthy scratches for Boston against the Islanders.
Saturday marked the 200th career NHL game for Ondrej Kase and the first game on Feb. 29th for the B’s since they hosted the Ottawa Senators on Feb. 29, 2000 (a, 5-3, loss).
Early in the action, David Pastrnak (47) rocketed a shot into the twine from about the point after Andy Greene knocked Patrice Bergeron into Varlamov and Varlamov had enough time to reset.
Islanders head coach, Barry Trotz, didn’t make a fuss over the call on the ice and the Bruins jumped out to the, 1-0, lead at 4:30 of the first period.
Torey Krug (36) and Brandon Carlo (15) notched the assists on Pastrnak’s goal.
Midway through the opening frame, Jeremy Lauzon was cut and headed down the tunnel to receive some stitches before returning ahead of the second period.
Moments later, Matt Grzelcyk (3) wasn’t going to be denied a second time by Varlamov as the Bruins defender fired a shot from the point that deflected off of Islanders defender, Johnny Boychuk, in the high slot and past the New York netminder.
Brad Marchand (56) and Charlie McAvoy (25) tallied the assists on Grzelcyk’s goal and the B’s led, 2-0, at 13:10.
It was Grzelcyk’s first goal since Nov. 19th in New Jersey.
About a minute later, Nick Ritchie caught Anthony Beauvillier without the puck and was sent to the box with an interference infraction at 14:31.
New York did not convert on their first power play of the afternoon.
Pastrnak followed things up with a tripping minor of his own at 18:57, but the Islanders were once again unsuccessful on the skater advantage to close out the first period.
After one period fo play at NYCB Live, the Bruins led the Islanders, 2-0, on the scoreboard and, 11-8, in shots on goal.
Boston also held the advantage in blocked shots (7-5), takeaways (2-1) and faceoff win percentage (60-40), while New York led in giveaways (6-4) and hits (10-4).
The Isles were 0/2 on the power play and the B’s had yet to see any time on the skater advantage entering the first intermission.
Almost midway through the second period, Leo Komarov tripped up Par Lindholm and was sent to the penalty box at 8:20 of the middle frame.
Boston’s ensuing power play became a 5-on-3 advantage for 32 seconds when Cal Clutterbuck caught Pastrnak with a high stick at 9:48 of the second period.
The Bruins did not score on the advantage.
After a few minutes of full strength action, the B’s began a run of minor penalties when Zdeno Chara slashed Mathew Barzal and was sent to the box at 14:32.
Boston killed off Chara’s minor, but was back on the penalty kill when Ritchie retaliated against Boychuk and delivered a quick, swift, cross check to the Islanders defender at 18:02.
Once more, however, New York did not score on the ensuing advantage.
Through 40 minutes of play at NYCB Live, the Bruins led the Islanders, 2-0, on the scoreboard and, 23-12, in shots on goal.
Boston also held the advantage in blocked shots (15-13), takeaways (5-2) and faceoff win% (55-45), while New York led in giveaways (14-10) and hits (15-8).
Neither team had a power play goal through two periods as the Islanders were 0/4 on the skater advantage and the Bruins were 0/2.
Midway through the final frame of regulation, Bergeron sent Marchand behind the net where Marchand (27) wrapped around the goal and slid a backhand shot through Varlamov’s five-hole while the Islanders goaltender had his paddle down.
Bergeron (25) and McAvoy (26) had the assists on Marchand’s goal and the Bruins extended their lead to, 3-0, at 11:06 of the third period.
Pastrnak responded to some tactics that he didn’t approve of and got into a bit of an exchange with Komarov almost three minutes later, but only Pastrnak received a roughing minor at 13:47.
Once more, the Islanders were unsuccessful on the ensuing advantage– despite Trotz’s best efforts at turning a 5-on-4 power play into a 6-on-4 by pulling his goaltender with about 5:12 in the game.
The Isles’ two-skater advantage was short lived as Barzal hooked McAvoy at 14:54 and presented both teams with 4-on-4 action for 54 seconds before the Bruins had an abbreviated power play.
While on the ensuing short skater advantage, McAvoy skated into the attacking zone with the puck and sent a quick pass to Krug.
Krug then skated around the net and sauced a pass back to McAvoy (4) for the one-timer goal from the faceoff circle to make it, 4-0, for the B’s while on the power play.
McAvoy’s power play goal was assisted by Krug (37) and David Krejci (28) at 16:26 of the third period and capitalized a three-point game (one goal, two assists) for No. 73 on Boston’s blue line.
Finally, Lauzon was penalized for holding Komarov at 18:47, but the Islanders weren’t able to score on their sixth power play opportunity of the afternoon.
At the final horn, the Bruins had won, 4-0, and improved to 13-3-0 in their last 16 games.
Boston finished Saturday afternoon’s matchup leading in shots on goal (30-25), blocked shots (23-17) and faceoff win% (51-49), while New York led in giveaways (21-13) and hits (26-14).
The Isles went 0/6 on the power play and the B’s went 1/3 on the skater advantage.
The Bruins improved to 24-7-8 when scoring the game’s first goal, 23-5-3 when leading after the first period and 26-1-6 when leading after two periods this season.
Meanwhile, the Islanders are now 12-14-4 when allowing the game’s first goal, 8-10-2 when trailing after one period and 5-17-2 when trailing after two periods this season.
Boston wrapped up the month of February against the Islanders on Saturday and begins the month of March in Tampa on Tuesday (March 3rd). The Bruins conclude their current three-game road trip (1-0-0) on Thursday, March 5th with a game against the Florida Panthers.