The Bruins wrapped up their quick two-game road trip with another big offensive performance as they managed to put up six goals for the second straight game, defeating the Islanders in Long Island 6-3.
Behind 34 saves by Chad Johnson and goals from Loui Eriksson, Brad Marchand, Reilly Smith, Carl Soderberg, Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara, the Bruins were able to pick up their third straight win.
Here are three takeaways from Monday’s contest.
Bergeron line leads the way, again.
The line of Marchand, Bergeron and Smith really can’t get any hotter than they are now. Thanks to their combined eight point night in Long Island on Monday, the red-hot trio now has a combined 29 points during their six game point streak. The line is certainly clicking on all cylinders at the moment.
The chemistry the trio is showing at the moment has been fun to watch. That chemistry was pretty evident on Marchand’s team leading 17th goal of the season at 4:50 of the second period which at the time put the Bruins on top 2-1.
Smith sent a pass right to the tape of Bergeron who found Marchand with a nice pass of his own and Marchand had no issues ripping one past Islanders goalie Kevin Poulin.
A big reason as to why the Bruins have been able to break out of their mid-season slump has been because of the play of the Bergeron line.
“We’ve got to keep that going,” Bergeron said. “We’re feeling good right now. We have some good confidence, and we’re moving the puck well. When we do that, we’re creating some chances for ourselves.”
Chad Johnson continues to gets the job done.
Since allowing four goals in a loss to the Buffalo Sabres on December 19, Johnson has been stellar for the Bruins. Monday’s contest was the first time Johnson has allowed more than two goals in an outing since that tough game against Buffalo, but let’s be honest here, two of the Islanders three goals were no fault of Johnson’s.
“I think Chad lately has been really, really good” said head coach Claude Julien. “Square to the puck and doesn’t overplay anything. Pucks are hitting him right now, so as I say every year with these kind of schedules and this kind of travel, you need your two goaltenders to be on top of their game and right now I think he is.”
13 minutes into the first period, the Islanders had managed just two shots on goal, but with Johnny Boychuk in the box for interference the Islanders shots started to come. The Islanders outshot the Bruins in the final seven minutes of the period 10-0.
Frans Nielson did manage to get a puck past Johnson in that span,—after Johnson had robbed him seconds before with a nice pad save—but if it were not for some big saves by Johnson, the Isles could have easily took a lead into the second period.
Late second period goal, early third period penalty kill deflate Islanders.
With a wild second period coming to an end, and it looking like the two teams were heading into the final intermission knotted at three, Carl Soderberg struck for his 7th goal of the season with just 33 seconds left on the clock. Shortly after that Bergeron was sent to the box for tripping—the second penalty to come at the 20 minute mark in as many periods—giving the Islanders a golden opportunity to once again tie the game up as they would benefit from a full two minutes with the man advantage on a fresh sheet of ice.
But the Bruins were able to kill off Bergeron’s power play and basically kill any confidence the Islanders once had at erasing the Bruins lead for the fourth time. Out of the box for 17 seconds, Bergeron was able to put the icing on the cake with his 14th goal of the year to extend the Bruins lead to two.
“Yeah you know it was a tough call, it was a bad penalty for me to take, but the guys did a great job killing it and I got back on the ice and Marshy [Marchand] made a great play to get that goal and get the momentum back right away. So I thought we took the momentum from that good kill and the goal and we moved from there” said Bergeron.