BOSTON (AP) — Patrice Bergeron told his Boston teammates that all he wanted in his 1,000th career game was for the Bruins to come out of it with two points.
The Bruins did, as did Bergeron, who scored twice in Boston’s 3-1 victory over the New York Islanders on Tuesday night.
“It’s been a fun ride. It was a special game that way,” said Bergeron, only the fifth player in Bruins’ history to play 1,000 games for the club.
Bergeron scored early in the second period and added an empty-netter in the final minute to cap off the night.
“Did you really expect anything else? That guy just steps up in every situation,” said Brad Marchand, who assisted on both of Bergeron’s goals. “You know he’s going to have a big game on a milestone night like tonight. It was great to see. He’s one of the top players in the game for a reason.”
Marchand made sure Bergeron got a keepsake from the night when he skated out to the blue line and retrieved the puck after Bergeron’s first goal put Boston up 1-0 at 2:32 in the first period.
David Pastrnak also assisted on both goals for Bergeron, passing up an empty-net opportunity and leaving the puck for Bergeron to tap in with 55 seconds left.
“I saw him look back and I was like ‘oh no, he’s going to drop it,’ but we were definitely alone and I very much appreciated it,” Bergeron said.
Peter Cehlarik also scored and Tuukka Rask stopped 28 shots for the Bruins, who handed the Metropolitan Division-leading Islanders their first regulation loss in more than three weeks.
Jordan Eberle scored for the Islanders and Robin Lehner finished with 24 saves as New York’s run of eight straight games with a point came to an end. The Islanders entered the game with a 6-0-2 stretch since a 2-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Jan. 12.
“We had a couple good looks and Tuukka made some good saves,” Eberle said. “They’re a good team over there. They don’t give you much. We definitely had our opportunities, though.”
The Islanders were just 1 for 5 on the power-play, failing to score on a great chance in the third when Boston’s Matt Grzelcyk was called for two minors — tripping and slashing — on the same play with 11:41 left.
“At the end of the day we could’ve used another one, but give them credit. They killed it off,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said.
Cehlarik broke a 1-all tie 6:34 into the third on a rebound after Lehner stopped Kevan Miller’s initial shot. It was the third goal of the season for Cehlarik.
Bergeron put the Bruins up 1-0 at 2:32 of the second period when he poked in the rebound after Lehner stopped a one-timer by Pastrnak but couldn’t control the puck.
Bergeron was congratulating his teammates after the final horn when Bruins’ captain Zdeno Chara, who’s 6-foot-9, picked up the 33-year-old center in a giant bear-hug.
“I wanted to get back down, but I couldn’t. He had a pretty strong grip,” Bergeron said with a laugh. “That was pretty funny, but I don’t know if I want to see that video.”
The Islanders tied it on Eberle’s power-play goal with 3:20 left in the second on a wrist shot that got through Rask on the stick side.
The Islanders appeared to take a 2-1 lead 4:52 into the third on a wrist shot by Cal Clutterbuck, but the Bruins challenged, believing Clutterbuck was already across the blue line when Casey Cizikas brought the puck into the zone.
Fans booed when they saw the replay and got louder as the review stretched past a few minutes. The boos turned to cheers when referee Chris Schlenker announced the play was offside and the goal didn’t count.
Cehlarik put the Bruins up for good less than two minutes later.
“The second goal was a turning point because now you’re chasing against a very good team that defends very well,” Trotz said.
NOTES: Bergeron joined Ray Bourque (1,518), Johnny Bucyk (1,436), Don Sweeney (1,052) and Wayne Cashman (1,027) as the only players to play 1,000 games with the Bruins. . The Islanders went 1 for 5 on the power play. . The game was delayed for a few minutes for a ceremonial puck drop featuring the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, who celebrated their sixth championship earlier in the day with a downtown parade. Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman, wearing his No. 11 on a custom Bruins jersey, led the group of players out on the ice and had the honor of dropping the puck between Islanders captain Anders Lee and Bergeron, but spiked the puck on the ice instead.
Islanders: Visit the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night.
Bruins: Visit the New York Rangers on Wednesday night.
(© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)