Final, 2-1 Islanders: The B’s did their best with five forwards and Chara on the ice, but they can’t get it done, and the Isles win 2-1.
Third period, 1:23, 2-1 Islanders: It’s now or never for the Bruins, with an offensive zone faceoff coming up. They just got their first shot in 10 minutes, so they haven’t exatly come close to tying things up. But with Rask pulled, the B’s are ready for their last gasp.
Third period, 5:05, 2-1 Islanders: Josh Bailey nearly just iced the game and secured a hat trick all in one, as he came streaking down the slot all alone against Rask, but Tuukka made a blocker save to keep the Bruins alive.
Third period, 8:11, 2-1 Islanders: Mark Streit headed down the tunnel after taking a Tyler Seguin stick to the face. It wasn’t a penalty, because it came on a shot attempt, but boy did that look painful.
But Mark Streit is a hockey player, and he’s the captain, so he’s back on the bench. Ouch.
Third period, 13:25, 2-1 Islanders: Tuukka Rask just came up with the save of the night on a Casey Cizikas bomb from the slot. Rask looked behind him after making the pad save, perhaps thinking it was once again trickling toward the open net, but he had it covered up.
Third period, 20:00, 2-1 Islanders: Twenty minutes to glory…
End of second period, 2-1 Islanders: The teams head to their respective dressing rooms for the second intermission, with the Isles leading 2-1.
Rask just held strong on the post, after Casey Cizikas rushed with speed down the left wing and actually caused Dennis Seidenberg to wipe out. Rask made the stop, lost his stick, and then pounced on a loose puck that sat precariously outside the crease for a second or two.
The Bruins aren’t playing a bad game here, but they’re going to have to really dig down and fight for the last 20 minutes if they want to win. The Islanders are in scrap-for-points mode, so there won’t be any give in their game in the final 20.
Second period, 2:15, 2-1 Islanders: Rask has responded pretty well since the goal, and Chris Kelly had a glorious opportunity in front after a great play by Chara in the offensive end, but Kelly’s shot went wide, and we’re still at 2-1.
Second period, 6:48, 2-1 Islanders: The Isles have the lead back, and once again it’s due to a goal by Josh Bailey.
This one wasn’t quite as pretty, as he fired a simple wrister on net. Rask made the initial stop, but the puck looked like it found its way through Rask’s armpit, and it trickled ever-so-slowly across the cross and over the goal line.
Second period, 9:58, 1-1: Tuukka Rask just came up huge, going left to right to stonewall Matt Moulson on a one-time shot from in close. Moulson got a second whack at the puck and might have thought he scored, because he raised his arms in celebration. However Rask (22 saves) thus far had it covered up safely.
Second period, 16:19, 1-1: Tyler Seguin just fit a shot into a window barely larger than a hockey puck, and he ties the game 1-1.
With Brad Boyes in the box for a delay of game penalty, the Bruins power play got to work. Gregory Campbell got the puck in the corner and patiently waited for a passing lane to clear to Seguin, who was waiting in the left faceoff circle. Seguin settled the pass on his stick and then aimed for the top shelf. Nabokov had nearly the whole net covered, but Seguin managed to sneak his shot by him to tie the game.
Jagr picks up the secondary assist, and he now has a goal and five assists in five games with Boston.
Second period, 20:00, 1-0 Islanders: Second period now under way in Boston.
End of first period, 1-0 Islanders: The Isles sneak one in before the first period ends, after Mark Streit carried the puck into the Bruins’ end and dropped it back to Josh Bailey.
Bailey unleashed a bomb and simply beat Rask with a perfect shot high to the glove side with 20.5 seconds left in the period, and the Isles will take the lead into the locker room.
First period, 1:05, 0-0: Good news for New York, as Travis Hamonic made it back onto the ice for his last shift. It looked pretty bad not too long ago, but he’s apparently all right.
First period, 5:21, 0-0: The B’s made short work of that Islanders power play, and it’s back to even strength.
First period, 7:34, 0-0: David Krejci goes to the box for tripping, but the loss may be worse for the Islanders, as Travis Hamonic heads to the locker and does not look to be in good shape.
He fell with his toe dug into the ice and looked to have twisted his knee or ankle. He remained down on the ice in a lot of pain for long while, too.
First period, 8:13: The Bruins have 10 shots already, including a redirect bid by Jagr off a feed from Lucic, but Nabokov has been up to the task.
The Islanders, for all their puck possession in the Boston end, have just two shots so far.
First period, 10:34: The Bruins nearly get on the board after Seguin carries with speed all the way around the New York net and throws it off Naobokov. The puck remained loose, and Caron got at least three solid whacks at it from the crease, but he hit the right post and the puck ended up getting covered by Nabokov.
First period, 13:42, 0-0: Not a ton of action early on, though the lines are all new across the board. Claude Julien has got:
First period, 20:00: We are under way at the Garden.
7:03 p.m.: With puck drop just minutes away, here are the starters:
Milan Lucic-Gregory Campbell-Jaromir Jagr
Andrew Ference-Adam McQuaid
Josh Bailey-Frans Nielsen-Kyle Okposo
Travis Harmonic-Andrew MacDonald
6:47 p.m.: Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli announced that Brad Marchand officially has a concussion.
“Brad has been diagnosed with a mild concussion,” Chiarelli announced in a brief statement. “We will provide an update on his status when appropriate.”
6:43 p.m.: The most noteworthy part of warmups for the Bruins was that Dougie Hamilton was not on the ice, indicating he’ll be out tonight.
It’s most likely just a night of rest for the rookie, who’s played in all 39 Boston games this season. With McQuaid back on the ice for warmups, it’ll either be him or Wade Redden taking Hamilton’s spot.
Like I said earlier, it will make sense for Julien to rotate some rest in for his D-men in the final nine games, and with the B’s having played last night, now’s a good time to start.
6:31 p.m.: It’s Military Appreciation Night here at the Garden, and the Bruins are wearing some military-inspired jerseys for warmups.
Tuukka Rask led the team onto the ice, so he’ll be the starter, opposed by Evgeni Nabokov.
Check out the B’s warmup jerseys:
6 p.m.: Hello from the TD Garden, where the Bruins and Islanders will face off in what would be a first-round playoff matchup if the season ended today.
Of course, a lot is going to happen in the standings in the final stretch of the season, so the Bruins are no more or less likely to face the Islanders than any other team in the East, really. But for now, the B’s are the No. 2 seed, and the Islanders are at No. 7, so let’s see what a playoff meeting might look like.
The Bruins won’t be trotting out their playoff lineup though, as Patrice Bergeron is still out with a concussion and Brad Marchand is out with what we presume to be the same (though no official word).
They’re coming off an up-and-down 5-4 win in New Jersey last night, which saw them open up a 4-0 lead, give up three straight goals and finally hang on after losing Marchand to an illegal elbow to the head late in the second period.
Tonight, we’ll see if there’s any lingering fatigue from a game that ended up being much closer than the Bruins would have liked (with a short bench, no less), but I think the spotlight will be on Milan Lucic.
The winger had a rough showing last night, finishing with a minus-2 rating in one of his worse games of the season. He has just five goals this season, which comes out to one goal every 7.6 games. That’s down significantly from 2010-11, when he scored once every 2.6 games, and last year, when he scored once every 3.1 games.
To be fair, Wednesday night was not a great showing team-wide, so to point the finger at one player doesn’t tell the whole story. Still, tonight would be a good night for Lucic to step it up a level in order to quell some of the unrest.
Tonight could also be the return of Adam McQuaid to the lineup. Though Mart Bartkowski has looked solid filling in during McQuaid’s absence, the ability for Claude Julien to rest some legs on the blue line in the final nine games of the year will be a great luxury for the coach.