Jeremy Swayman (4-1-0, 1.78 goals-against average, .939 save percentage in five games played) stopped all 25 shots that he faced en route to his first career National Hockey League shutout in Friday night’s, 3-0, win for the Boston Bruins against the New York Islanders at TD Garden.
All three Bruins acquired ahead of Monday’s trade deadline recorded a point in the effort, while Islanders netminder, Ilya Sorokin (11-4-1, 2.16 goals-against average, .916 save percentage in 16 games played), made 25 saves on 27 shots against in the loss.
Boston improved to 24-12-6 (54 points) overall and remained in 4th place in the MassMutual NHL East Division, while New York fell to 27-13-4 (58 points) and remained in 2nd place in the division.
The B’s also improved to 2-3-2 against the Isles this season.
The Bruins were without the services of Ondrej Kase (upper body), John Moore (hip), Brandon Carlo (upper body), Trent Frederic (non-COVID protocol related illness), Matt Grzelcyk (upper body), Kevan Miller (undisclosed) and Jaroslav Halak (COVID protocol) on Friday.
Bruins head coach, Bruce Cassidy, made no changes to his lineup, with the exception of starting Swayman and scratching Tuukka Rask after Boston recalled Dan Vladar from the Providence Bruins (AHL) to serve as Swayman’s backup on the second night of back-to-back games for the B’s.
Rask is expected to go back into the net on Sunday.
The long list of healthy scratches, taxi squad members and/or injured players included Frederic, Carlo, Moore, Kase, Rask, Halak, Grzelcyk, Callum Booth, Anton Blidh, Karson Kuhlman, Jarred Tinordi and Miller.
Zach Senyshyn and Jack Ahcan were sent to Providence (AHL) on Friday.
Early in the opening frame, Mathew Barzal caught David Krejci with a high stick and was assessed a minor infraction as a result at 6:59 of the first period.
The Bruins did not convert on the ensuing power play, however.
Late in the period, Sean Kuraly slashed Islanders defender, Noah Dobson, and cut a rut to the sin bin, but New York could not muster anything past Swayman on the resulting skater advantage at 15:28.
In the dying seconds of the first period, Mike Reilly kept the puck in the attacking zone, whereby Patrice Bergeron worked it to Reilly as the B’s defender pinched deep along the boards to about the goal line.
Reilly then threw a quick pass to David Pastrnak (17) for the one-timer in the slot past Sorokin to give Boston a, 1-0, lead at 19:57.
For the first time in eight games, Pastrnak scored a goal, while Reilly (21) and Bergeron (21) had the assists on the game’s first tally.
Entering the first intermission, the B’s led, 1-0, on the scoreboard, despite trailing the Islanders, 10-8, in shots on goal. New York also led in blocked shots (4-3), giveaways (3-2) and hits (15-9), while Boston led in takeaways (5-2) and faceoff win percentage (57-44).
Both teams were 0/1 on the power play heading into the middle period.
Taylor Hall (4) redirected a pass from Krejci through Sorokin’s five-hole 47 seconds into the second period to give the Bruins a two-goal lead.
Krejci (23) and Steven Kampfer (1) had the assists on Hall’s goal and the B’s led, 2-0.
Midway through the middle frame, Jordan Eberle elbowed Charlie McAvoy, yielding a power play to the Bruins at 11:09.
Shortly after making the kill, the Islanders went on the power play as Nick Ritchie cut a rut to the box at 13:24 of the second period for catching Eberle with a high stick.
After New York couldn’t score on the power play, Boston went back on the advantage when Matt Martin tripped McAvoy at 15:45, but the Bruins couldn’t score on the ensuing power play.
Finally, Kuraly sent the puck over the glass for an automatic delay of game penalty at 19:07, but the Islanders weren’t able to score on the power play, despite their advantage carrying over into the third period.
Boston led New York in shots on goal, 20-16, including a, 12-6, advantage in the second period alone.
Brad Marchand kicked things off in the final frame with a slashing minor against Oliver Wahlstrom 3:10 into the first period, but the Islanders weren’t able to convert on the ensuing power play.
Midway through the third period, Kuraly boarded Dobson at 9:55, but once more New York wasn’t able to capitalize on the skater advantage.
Isles head coach, Barry Trotz, pulled Sorokin for an extra attacker with 1:46 remaining in the game, but it was to no avail as Curtis Lazar (6) pocketed an empty net goal on an individual effort at 18:48.
At the final horn, the Bruins had beaten the Islanders, 3-o, and finished the night leading in shots on goal, 28-25, despite trailing New York in shots on goal in the third period alone, 9-8.
The Isles wrapped up Friday’s effort leading in blocked shots (11-9), giveaways (12-3), hits (32-26) and faceoff win% (51-49).
New York went 0/5 on the power play, while Boston went 0/3 on Friday.
The B’s improved to 16-4-3 (8-0-2 at home) when scoring the game’s first goal, 13-0-2 (7-0-1 at home) when leading after the first period and 15-0-2 (10-0-2 at home) when leading after the second period this season.
The Islanders fell to 9-12-2 (3-10-2 on the road) when allowing the game’s first goal, 4-7-2 (1-7-2 on the road) when trailing after one period and 3-11-1 (3-9-1 on the road) when trailing after two periods in 2020-21.
The Bruins close out their five-game homestand (2-1-0) against the Washington Capitals on Sunday afternoon before hitting the road for the next five games, including three games in Buffalo and two in Pittsburgh.