Observations: Bruins 6, Islanders 3
March, 31, 2012
By James Murphy | ESPNBoston.com
The Boston Bruins inched closer to the 100-point plateau Saturday with a 6-3 win over the New York Islanders on Long Island. Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin combined for eight points and David Krejci had two goals as the Bruins bounced back from their 3-2 shootout loss to the Washington Capitals Thursday night. Chris Kelly had a goal as well and Marty Turco made 19 saves for his second win. The Bruins have 96 points but with Ottawa Senators gaining a point Saturday at Philadelphia, Boston still hasn’t clinched the Northeast Division.
Marchand, Bergeron and Seguin reunite: Since Rich Peverley returned from a knee injury last Sunday at Anaheim, he had been starting each game on a line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand and then getting some shifts off or playing on the line with Milan Lucic and David Krejci while Tyler Seguin took his normal spot back with Bergeron and Marchand. But on Saturday, Marchand, Bergeron and Seguin gave coach Claude Julien no choice but to keep them together as they combined for eight points. Marchand and Seguin put on a stick-handling clinic and had a goal and two assists each and Bergeron had a goal and an assist. One would expect them to stay together for the game against the Rangers Sunday night.
Lucic grinding and assisting: Milan Lucic doesn’t always get credit for his passing skills, but his grinding style and quick hands have made him a better playmaker than some may think. Lucic used that grinding style behind the net to set up David Krejci in the first period for the Bruins’ first goal and then in the third period when he found Krejci once again for a big insurance goal that sealed the game and made it 6-3.
Chara starting scoring plays: Zdeno Chara had two assists Saturday and now has six assists in his past three games. But even when he’s not getting credit on the score sheet, Chara has been doing a great job of moving the puck up ice and starting scoring plays. Chara’s calm demeanor and instincts have really helped the Bruins’ transition game as of late.
Bruce Bennett/Getty ImagesFrans Nielsen and the Isles couldn't keep up with Benoit Pouliot's Bruins.
Krejci stays hot: With his 22nd and 23rd goals of the season Saturday, Krejci now has three goals and three assists in his past three games. As pointed out Thursday, this is customarily Krejci’s time of year, which he proved in the playoffs last spring when he had 23 points in 25 playoff games.
Bruins become only team with six 20-goal scorers: Chris Kelly scored his 20th goal of the season, setting a career high in goals and also making the Bruins the only team in the NHL to have six players with 20 goals or more apiece. Marchand (27), Seguin (27) Lucic (24), Krejci (23) and Bergeron (21) are the other Bruins who have lit the lamp 20 times or more this season.
Turco gets second win as a Bruin: Bruins goalie Marty Turco got his second start in four games as Julien continues to try to squeeze in some rest for Tim Thomas. Turco let in a weak one on the Islanders’ first goal when he failed to glove a floater by Kyle Okposo late in the first period. Overall Turco wasn’t horrible, but he did not look as good as he did last Sunday when he made 25 saves in a 3-2 win at Anaheim. He did make 19 saves Saturday and got another win.
Seidenberg, McQuaid out again; Mottau in: While he made the trip to New York with his teammates for this game and their game against the Rangers Sunday night at Madison Square Garden, defenseman Dennis Seidenberg still wasn’t ready to go Saturday as he battles an infection from a cut on his right leg. With fellow rearguard Adam McQuaid not making the trip, that meant Mike Mottau was in on the blue line against his former team. Daniel Paille was a scratch again up front for the fourth straight game. Here’s what the lineup looked like to start the game Saturday but note that as mentioned above, Julien reunited the Marchand-Bergeron-Seguin line as the game went on:
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Tyler Seguin
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Rich Peverley
Benoit Pouliot-Chris Kelly-Brian Rolston
Jordan Caron-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Andrew Ference-Greg Zanon
Mike Mottau-Joe Corvo