Bruins

B's pick up where they left off, top Islanders, 6-2

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B's pick up where they left off, top Islanders, 6-2

BOSTON -- The Bruins helped Tuukka Rask to his first win of the season on Monday night at the TD Garden, after getting a pair of goals and three points from Nathan Horton, as they defeated the New York Islanders 6-2.

Horton assisted on Boston's fourth goal, and scored the fifth, as the B's pulled away in the third period, after entering the final 20 minutes with just a 3-2 lead.

Milan Lucic gave the Bruins a 4-2 lead, nearly two minutes after teammate Daniel Paille got hit in the face with an Islanders slap shot from the right point. Paille was bleeding and left the game just over three minutes into the third period.

Lucic's goal was set up by Horton, who finished a give-and-go with his big winger, by staying patient from the right circle and dishing a pass to the left post at the last minute, where Lucic was going hard to the net.

Horton followed that up with his second gaol of the night, just 49 seconds later, as he was parked out front and put home an easy rebound to give the B's a 5-2 lead.

David Krejci scored an empty netter with 2:48 left in the game to add insult to injury.

The Bruins battled through a scoreless second after getting three first-period goals from Benoit Pouliot, Horton, and Tyler Seguin.

Pouliot gave Boston an early 1-0 lead 1:32 in, after he stuffed home a loose puck that was jammed between the legs of Nabokov. Jordan Caron set the goal up with a hard forecheck into the left corner which led to his interception of an Islanders pass behind their own net. Caron quickly fired a low shot off Nabokov from a bad angle, and Pouliot was on the doorstep to push it over the goal line.

New York tied it at 1-1, 5:52 into the game, after Moulson re-directed a Steve Staios shot from the right point. Moulson's tip ended up in the top-right corner of the net.

Then with 6:22 left to play in the first, Horton put Boston on top once again, as he put a hard wrist shot top-right on the power play.

The Bruins made it 3-1, 29 seconds later, as Seguin finished off a few deep cycles and a Bergeron pass from the corner. The goal also

The Islanders cut that lead down to 3-2 with 1:24 left in the first, as Grabner sniped the top-right corner from the high slot, after the Bruins turned the puck over at their own blue line. But two pucks was all they would get past Rask.

Pastrnak on B's loss: "We kind of stopped playing"

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Pastrnak on B's loss: "We kind of stopped playing"

BOSTON – At the end of the day, it was simply a game where the Bruins allowed themselves to get outworked in the third period and overtime. 

The B’s held a three-goal lead in the second period and still enjoyed a two-goal lead in the third period, but eventually dropped a frustrating, futile 5-4 overtime loss to the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden on Saturday night. It was clear to most speaking after the game that the Bruins eased up on the gas pedal once they’d scored their fourth goal of the game in the second period, and simply watched as the Sabres stomped all over them in the game’s second half. 

“I think we might have been a little bit too scared to play [in the third period], you know? We tried to just flip the pucks away, and didn’t make any plays trying to get it in the zone. Instead we should have just kept going like we did in the first two periods,” said David Pastrnak, who scored a pair of goals early in the loss to allow the Bruins to build up the three-goal lead. “Obviously we’re disappointed. We got one point. I think we didn’t play our game in the third period. We kind of stopped playing and they were all over us, and you know, it’s on us. We were the ones that gave them their point, but the first two periods were good. It’s just another learning session.”

To Pastrnak’s point, the Bruins were outshot by a 15-6 margin in the final 20 minutes of regulation and 21-6 overall in the third period and overtime prior to Ryan O’Reilly’s game-winner during 3-on-3 play. It was at this point the Bruins certainly missed stalwart stay-at-home defensemen Adam McQuaid and Kevan Miller in the D-zone, and fell short of qualified penalty killers while trying to burn off a Brandon Carlo interference call at the end of the third period. 

All of that caught up to them once the Bruins loosened their grip on the Sabres, but certainly the feeling is that the loss should’ve been avoidable even if some of the circumstances made it difficult for the Black and Gold. It also should have been avoidable against a Sabres hockey club that was dreadful last season, and is again one of the doormats in the Atlantic Division in the early going thus far. 

“Those are the games you can’t lose. We obviously didn’t do the job there in the third and close it out, but we’re going to have to regroup and work on our game and be better for the next one,” said Brad Marchand. “We didn’t play the game we needed to play. We relaxed a bit and we started losing a few battles in the wrong areas, and you know, they just played better than we did.”

It’s mystifying that any team would need a crash-and-born loss like Saturday night in order to learn any lessons moving forward, and it certainly might have been a different story for the Bruins if they weren’t missing a few big defensive pieces. But that’s not how it went down for the Black and Gold as they sagged under rising pressure from the Sabres, and simply stopped working when the chips were on the table late in Saturday night’s game.