GOLD STAR: Fourth-line center Sean Kuraly is having a pretty darn good season. The two goals scored on Tuesday night give him a career-high eight and 20 points with 10 regular-season games remaining. Tuesday night also marked his first two-goal game in the regular season after he scored twice in Game 5 of the 2017 playoff series vs. Ottawa. Both were just flat out good shots. The first goal simply fooled Robin Lehner when he first looked to pass and the second was Kuraly stepping into a pass from Danton Heinen after a quick wraparound attempt. He’s really not a good fit as a top-nine forward after the Bruins tried him on the third line to start the season, but he’s become a really good, well-rounded fourth-line center with just enough offensive pop. A pretty good season for Kuraly with some bumps and bruises along the way.
BLACK EYE: Can you give it to the entire Islanders team? There are so many candidates to choose from, whether it was Lehner, who appeared to be having trouble tracking pucks from the first goal allowed, or Josh Bailey and Leo Komarov, who were both a minus-3 with zero offensive presence. In general, the Islanders managed just two shots on net in the first period and then only another six in the second period. By that point, they were trailing 3-0 with no chance to get back into the game. About the only Islanders player who showed up was Matt Martin challenging Zdeno Chara to a fight to start the second period to try and stir up the troops, but that didn’t even work for a team that just never showed up.
TURNING POINT: After slow starts for the longest time, the Bruins are again hopping on opponents and taking control of games. Kuraly and the Bruins fourth line brought serious energy at the start of the game and it culminated with Kuraly scoring just 1:10 in. Once the Bruins scored that early knockdown, it sure appeared like the Islanders quit with just two shots on net in the first period. Then the Bruins scored two more goals in the second and were off and running after a strong start. It was all about being ready to go at the starting gate for the Black and Gold.
HONORABLE MENTION: Patrice Bergeron had another typically excellent game that culminated with No. 37 scoring a goal in the third period to help widen the lead. It was a top-corner beauty in the slot that Bergeron stepped into after a slick centering pass from Joakim Nordstrom. He finished with a goal, a plus-1 rating and eight shot attempts in 14:36 of easygoing ice time. Bergeron also had a takeaway and 13 of 22 wins on face-offs in a strong, all-around effort while centering Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak for the first time in a month. There were plenty of good performances, though. This could have gone to Noel Acciari, Jake DeBrusk, Charlie Coyle, Charlie McAvoy or Zdeno Chara among others in a strong all-around effort.
BY THE NUMBERS: 7 – the number of shots on net for Charlie Coyle in 17:58 of ice time as he continues to generate shots and offense while playing the wing on David Krejci’s right side rather than third line center.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “I thought in every area of the game we were very good. We limited their chances against. I thought we broke up a lot of plays to put us in transition, made good decisions with the puck and really attacked when we could. I thought our D pinched at the right times and the forwards reloaded, and as a result, we got a lot of pucks back. We buried a few early and about halfway through the game I thought we really broke their spirit.” –Bruce Cassidy, to NESN on the dominant 5-0 win.
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