The Boston Bruins proved once again why they are the team to beat in the Eastern Conference. The black and gold came from behind to beat the New York Islanders 4-2 at the TD Garden on Friday night. Zdeno Chara scored the game-winning goal 7:07 into the third period, but it really was the play of the fourth line that carried the team the entire night.
Shawn Thornton got things started for the B’s with a nice tip in goal, but Keith Aucoin and the Islanders evened the score at one shortly after. The Islanders took the lead in the second period when Aucoin lit the lamp for a second time, but it was that gritty fourth line attack that led the Bruins back and this time it was Gregory Campbell fighting his way to the net to punch one home to even the score at two after two periods of play.
Head coach Claude Julien was very happy with the play of his fourth line tonight and believed it was the best line on the ice.
“Tonight it was,” Julien said. “They played an extremely good game for us. I thought they allowed us to stay in the game for two periods, until we got ourselves going a little bit.”
More after the jump including postgame video.
Julien praised his fourth line again stating that the guys really set the tone for the rest of the team throughout the night.
“Well it is, and they’ve always taken pride in doing that for our team in the past and again, tonight they’re the ones that were doing the right things,” Julien said. “Both goals that they scored they had somebody in front of the net, so you know, Thorty (Shawn Thornton) on the first one and Soupy (Gregory Campbell) on the second goal. So things that our other lines weren’t doing for two periods, and you know once we got ourselves going, we were a lot better. They set the example I guess for the rest of the team for the third period.”
The two teams were tied in the third period when the Captain “Big Z” changed that on a rocket past Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro. Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton each received their first assist on the young season.
After the Bruins took the lead, they never looked back. It was capped off from one of the prettiest plays of the year thus far. Dougie Hamilton had a beautiful cross ice pass to Brad Marchand who found a streaking Patrice Bergeron who eventually undressed DiPietro to put the B’s ahead by two goals.
To reiterate, it was the Bruins fourth line that kept the pressure on the Islanders the entire night and Campbell, who was in the middle of it all, finds himself in the team lead in points.
“I mean, it is what it is,” Campbell said. “I am just trying to contribute. I felt like I worked hard in the lockout in the last four months and I feel good right now. As I said, I am just trying to contribute, whether it’s goals or assists, it doesn’t really matter. It’s just helping the team win.”
Meanwhile, Hamilton continues to impress everyone including fellow defenseman Johnny Boychuk adding another two assists in the victory as well as accumulating his first NHL career multi-point effort.
“What do you think? He’s been playing really good, he’s really poised with the puck and it’s good to see him looking comfortable out there playing his game and not trying to do anything that’s extraordinary,” Boychuk said. “He’s making the right plays, the simple plays and he’s doing a really good job at defending guys too.”
The Bruins improve to 3-0-1 on the young season. Their penalty kill has been outstanding, but their power-play has just been anemic (Bruins fans are accustomed to this). Tuukka Rask earned his third victory on the year while the black and gold continually get it done in all phases of the game – proving why they are the most well-rounded team in the National Hockey League.