After two second period goals 25 second apart gave the Bruins a 3-1 lead, it looked like the Bruins were well on their way to their 16th straight win at TD Garden, but four unanswered Islanders goals later, the Bruins are left asking themselves what exactly happened.
Bad penalties and a poor penalty kill is what happened as the Islanders came into Boston and ruined the Bruins New Year’s Eve.
Behind two power play goals from Frans Nielsen, the Islanders converted on four of their eight power play opportunities. It was an overall bad night for a usually solid penalty kill squad.
“A lot. I just said, a lot of things I didn’t like tonight. Obviously our penalty kill wasn’t very good, some of the decision making, even again, we talked about our forecheck – we were late, we weren’t winning battles, they dominated the battle area – and when you start losing those kind of things, to our team it’s certainly not a good sign” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien.
As bad as the Bruins were on the penalty kill, you can’t take away from the Islanders who did a great job creating havoc in the Bruins zone all night.
“A little bit of everything. We had a couple of unlucky bounces. They have a really good power play; we just made a few mistakes, and they capitalize on those kind of things” said Bruins forward Brad Marchand.
“It’s frustrating because I think if our PK [penalty kill] would have stepped up then we would have won that game.”
Marchand was one of a handful of Bruins who hurt the team with a bad penalty. Late in the third with the Bruins down by one and buzzing to tie the game, Marchand was given a double minor for roughing after getting into it with Colin McDonald. Jonathan Tavares’ second of the night extended the Islanders lead to two and sealed the deal on any possible Bruins comeback.
Tuukka Rask didn’t help the Bruins out much by allowing a few soft goals. Since shutting out the Ottawa Senators Friday in Boston, Rask has had a tough two games. Rask—who was pulled in the Bruins 4-3 loss in Ottawa Saturday night—has now allowed 8 goals on the last 43 shots he has faced.
“Well it was part of it for sure. I can’t stop the puck when it mattered and then get those bounces so that’s the result” said Rask.
“It feels like everything’s going in one way or another. We didn’t play too bad. We got the lead and then they had two goals and then we kind of blew it. The penalty kill wasn’t on par today.”
The loss was the Bruins first regulation loss at home since a 4-3 loss to the New Jersey Devils on October 26. Ironically enough, the Bruins allowed four power play goals in that game, too.