UNIONDALE, NY - It may have not been the best brand of Boston Bruins hockey, but the B's found the ways to execute and defeat the New York Islanders, 4-1, for their fourth straight win Tuesday, and second consecutive three-goal margin of victory.
"We talk about consistency. Not every night is great, but every night has to be good enough to win and we’ve been that so far," Coach Julien said following the win. "We’ve gotten either solid goaltending or timely scoring, or great defensive plays"
"All that stuff just gives us the stability that every good team needs. Right now, we’re thriving on that."
For the third straight game, the Bruins jumped out to a first-period lead, this time off Adam McQuaid's first of the season. But an uncharacteristic B's backcheck saw the Islanders chip in the puck high, behind the Boston defense, and into the scoring area, where Josh Bailey caused Tuukka Rask to go down, and Casey Cizikas lifted the puck over the B's goaltender.
"We got a goal against in the first period, so we’re not happy with that, obviously," alternate captain Patrice Bergeron said on his line allowing the Isles' lone goal, even though the trio with Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand picked up five points on the night, including Marchand's eventual game-winner just 38 seconds into the second.
"It’s something that we’ve always talked about as a line, is we need to do the job on both sides of the ice. I think my lineys have taken a lot of pride in that as well. We weren’t happy with it and we came back [in the second period] to get the momentum back for our team."
That may have not been the only defensive lapse of the night, but it was the only one that found its way past Rask, who was solid in goal, making the timely saves - 36 of them, in all, to earn First Star on the night.
"We played a pretty good hockey club tonight and they gave us a lot of trouble and our goalie was probably the one that made the difference there, as far as keeping the score low on our side," said Coach Julien of his starting netminder.
"Their goalie played really well, too. Both goaltenders, I thought played solid games. He came up with the big saves when we needed them and he was solid."
"They put a lot of rubber at him, so I like it so far, the way he’s been. We played him again tonight, trying to get him into to the groove there because it’s been a pretty easy schedule."
"He’s incredible," said Brad Marchand, who benefited from his teammate's ability to keep them in the game, netting his third game-winner, finding the loose puck after an Andrew Ference drive from the left point that gave him his team-leading 10th goal of the season - and Bergeron his 100th multi-point game with the assist.
"He’s prepared every night and he plays his best, night in and night out. It seems like he gives us an opportunity to win every night with how he plays and you saw it again tonight. He came up with a lot of great saves at the right time and that’s what we need out of him."
Whether it was a breakaway save on Michael Grabner midway through the first period, or his ability to stone Mark Streit on numerous occasions, Rask was up to the task.
Though, he didn't let the win cloud his team's constant need to keep improving - especially after the B's were worked hard at both ends of the ice by an Islanders' team that wouldn't quit putting on the pressure.
"I think a pretty entertaining game to watch for the audience," said Rask, on the plentiful chances at both ends of the ice.
"You’ve got to appreciate their offense. We should know they’ve got good forwards there," said Rask, on the Isles' ability to get past the B's defense Tuesday night. "But then we talk about it before the game, we just don’t do the things we talk about. We turned the puck over too many times, gave them opportunities."
"Don’t let it fool you. I don’t want to be overly negative here, but even today, we’re not playing our best hockey," added Rask. "You’ve got to be confident when you’re winning, but you’ve got to realize we’re not playing full 60."
"Even though you have a two-goal lead in the third like today, you kind of play a sloppy third, which is not really like us at all. I guess we’re still pretty confident."
"I don’t think we had it all game long," said Marchand, on the B's pulling out the win, despite not playing like it for the entire game. "We didn’t play our best, but at the end of the night, we got the two points and that’s all that matters."
"With the shortened season, we have to make sure that we get points every night."
"We know that everyone’s not going to have their best game, night in, night out. But as long as we, as a team, come together and pull off wins, that’s all that matters."
The win led to their fourth straight victory, all of which came on the road, to give the B's an 8-1-1 record away from home this season. While an outstanding road record to start, it's not the hottest in Bruins history - in 1929-30, the Black & Gold made it to 10-1-0 before their second road loss of the season.
"I think we keep things simple. I think we’re not forcing plays and we’re really trying – getting the lead’s been key," said Bergeron, on his team's road success.
"Early on in the year wasn’t great for that, but we got better doing that, it gets the momentum, but also we can play our game, play our style and establish the type of hockey we want. On the road it’s really important."
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