Tim Thomas was sharp early, and made 11 saves in the first.
Uniondale, NY -- Glen Murray, Petteri Nokelainen and Chuck Kobasew scored for Boston as the Bruins defeated the New York Islanders Monday night in the Nassau Memorial Coliseum. B's netminder Tim Thomas stopped 33 New York shots in the win.
"We did what we had to do," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. "We had some timely goals (on) the power play.
"Nokelainen scored a big goal.
"And except for the end...overall thought it was a good road win," he said.
It had been a while since rookie Milan Lucic had graced the Bruins lineup and the young power forward was chomping at the bit to hit the ice at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum against the New York Islanders.
"I am going to try and do whatever I can to help the team win," said Lucic before the game.
And no matter who you talked to, that was pretty much the sentiment around the entire Boston locker room -- particularly because of the the Bruins 4-1 loss to Tampa Bay on Saturday night. Each member of the Black & Gold, from head coach Claude Julien on down, were disappointed with the team's performance and vowed to make amends on Long Island Monday.
After all, good teams don't lose two games in a row very often.
With both teams neck and neck in the Eastern Conference standings, and with both clubs hoping to rebound from a tough loss, the game exhibited a quick pace as soon as the puck was dropped, but the Islanders kept clear control of the puck in the early stages of the frame.
New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro, right, defends the net as Boston Bruins' Glen Metropolit (13) moves the puck past Islanders' Mike Sillinger (18). (AP Photo/Ed Betz)
Despite being outshot early and while on a power play, Murray, the B's veteran sniper made an outstanding play to control a puck to the left of the Islanders goalie Rick Dipietro.
In one motion the right wing caught the puck, put it back on the ice, and shot it over the right shoulder of the New York's nimble netminder from Massachusetts at 13:03.
Boston held sway for the rest of the stanza and went to their locker room up, 1-0.
The Islanders desperately pressed their attack in the first half of the middle session, but despite good chanced at both ends of the ice, neither squad was able to dent twine until New York's Andrew Sutton coughed up a puck at the Islander's blueline and the Bruins Nokelainen, a former Islander, beat DiPietro into the top of the net to make the score 2-0, Boston.
"I got a little lucky," said Nokelainen after the game. "I was the lowest guy (after the Islanders lost the puck) and I got on the break away.
"But I will take it."
New York went on a late power play, but Thomas, who was outstanding throughout the evening, stopped all eight shots he saw in the period.
The third period began with Boston in control of the game's momentum despite having to kill a couple of Islander power plays. The Bruins were rewarded with their own 5-on-3 man advantage, but the Isles killed those opportunities and the game clock still showed 2-0 Bruins with five minutes to play in regulation.
A roughing penalty to the Islanders Trent Hunter led to a clinching power play goal for Chuck Kobasew and the Bruins were in the lead, 3-0, at 16:35.
The Islanders countered that B's goal with their first of the eveninng, by Chris Campoli, at 18:09. But, having lost his bid for a shutout, Thomas would not be denied the victory and he and his Bruins held on for the 3-1 victory.
"Before the game the coach said that good teams don't lose two in a row," said Thomas. "So far we've (been able to) bounce back and were able to have a strong effort the night after a loss.
"That's a good characteristic to have."
"You can't always rely on the same people all the time," added Julien of the effort throughout his lineup. "Everybody has to pull in the same direction and try and contribute the best as they can.
"We got that tonight."
The Bruins will need that again on Wedneday when they face the Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils.
1 - 0 BOS
2 - 0 BOS
3 - 0 BOS