There was little doubt Thomas Vanek was going to produce for the New York Islanders. It was just a matter of when.
Vanek had a goal and an assist and Kevin Poulin made 26 saves to lead the Islanders to a 3-1 win against the Boston Bruins at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Saturday night.
John Tavares and Andrew MacDonald also scored for the Islanders (6-5-3), who picked up four points this weekend after earning a 5-4 shootout victory on the road against the Ottawa Senators on Friday.
Vanek had an assist in Friday's victory. He now has three points (one goal, two assists) in as many games since being traded to New York by the Buffalo Sabres this past Sunday.
Tavares broke a scoreless tie at 6:15 of the second period. With the teams at even strength, Vanek took the puck off David Krejci's stick in the slot and quickly put a shot on goal that was denied by Johnson. But Tavares was on the doorstep and showed some nifty hand-eye coordination and swatted the puck out of midair and over the goal line for his sixth goal of the season.
MacDonald doubled New York's lead with his first goal of the season at 13:13. MacDonald, who had three goals in 48 games last season, took a pass from Travis Hamonic and one-timed a slap shot from the left point that found its way through a crowd and past Johnson to give the Islanders a 2-0 lead.
The Bruins responded quickly via the power play on a goal by Hamilton at 15:27. With three seconds remaining on a holding-the-stick penalty to Islanders forward Brock Nelson, Hamilton sent a cross-ice feed from the right circle toward Carl Soderberg, but New York center Frans Nielsen accidentally poked it through Poulin's pads to make it 2-1. Hamilton was credited with his third goal of the season.
Vanek restored New York's two-goal lead 41 seconds later with his first goal as an Islander. He finished off a 2-on-1 with Kyle Okposo by one-timing a feed from the left circle past Johnson to make it 3-1. It was Vanek's fifth goal of the season and 30th in 51 games against the Bruins.
Johnson denied Vanek's bid for his second of the night midway through the third period. Vanek made a nifty move around Hamilton and snapped a wrister that Johnson snared with his glove to keep it a 3-1 game.
The Islanders begin a four-game road trip Tuesday against the Washington Capitals. Boston plays the first of a five-game homestand Tuesday against the Dallas Stars.
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