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As Seen On NESN -- "Thanks" to the outstanding goaltending by the New York Islanders Rick DiPietro, the Boston Bruins began a six-game road trip with a 2-1 loss. New York winger Richard Park scored the game-winner for the Isles, while P.J. Axelsson scored for Boston and goalie Tim Thomas made 27 saves in the loss.
"We got outworked tonight," said a clearly disappointed Bruins head coach Claude Julien to NESN's Rob Simpson following the game. "That was the whole story...in the game.
"Luckily we were still in the game after two periods.
"But, no doubt, they seemed to want it a lot more than us," he said.
The Black & Gold had traveled to Long Island for the second half of a home-at-home series and in search of another couple of playoff points from the Islanders after they earned a 2-1 win over the New Yorkers on Friday in the TD Banknorth Garden.
Thomas, who has been nearly bulletproof recently, was in goal for the eleventh time in twelve games and center Vladimir Sobotka made the lineup and made his NHL debut in the place of Milan Lucic as the Bruins continued to contend with the injury bug -- Manny Fernandez remained out with a knee injury and Lucic, Boston's powerful rookie forward, was dinged up, and stayed home in Boston, as well.
The game started at a breakneck pace, as both squads began shooting the puck early and often. New York's Chris Simon gave the B's an early scare when he hit the post behind Thomas, but it was Boston's P.J. Axelsson who scored first -- his second goal of the season at 3:51 of the first giving the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
The period became even quicker after the Axelsson marker, and the clubs traded several strong chances each, but, thanks to Thomas and DiPietro, the score remained 1-0 for Boston going into the first intermission.
The second frame evolved into the Thomas "The Tank" show as the competitive Boston netminder refused to allow anything by him (stopping 10 in the period) until former Bruin property, the Islander's Andy Hilbert, found the net through a screen at 17:25 and the teams went to their room's tied 1-1 at the break.
"Timmy played another great game for us," said Boston center Marc Savard. "He gave us a chance.
The beginning of the third period clearly resembled the second and despite the Bruins having killed an early New York power play, the Islanders pressed Thomas as they looked for the go-ahead goal.
They found it when Park found twine at 7:30 and put the Bruins into comeback mode.
Unfortunately for the Bruins, DiPietro, a native of Winthrop, Massachusetts, no longer wishes to see the Black & Gold win and he became the star in the third period as the B's poured shot after shot on the budding superstar.
In the end, however, Boston was unable to cajole another goal out of their offense and fell to the Isles, 2-1.
"They deserved it more than us tonight," said the veteran Savard, who was clearly disappointed with his clubs effort. "They worked hard."
Julien felt a couple of things, in particular, were missing from his lineup.
"Focus and desire," he said. "We just didn't have them tonight."
1 - 0 BOS
1 - 1 Tie