Though it was their first time playing the Islanders in their new arena, the Boston Bruins have managed to keep their winning streak against the New York team alive.
It was 19-year-old forward David Patrnak who scored the tie-breaker late in the second period, sending the Bruins to a 5-3 win.
The latest win adds to the Bruins incredible road game record of 9-3-1 when playing against the Islanders, the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils since the 2012-2013 season.
“It’s a weird game — some buildings, you just can’t win,” right-winger Brett Connolly said, “I know last year, Montreal, just for whatever reason, we couldn’t get anything going against them.”
Last season, the Montreal Canadiens outscored the Bruins 11-5 when playing at Bell Centre.
Things did not get off to a good start for the Bruins. In the first period, the black and gold were outshot 18-8 in the first period and were down 2-1.
“I thought our first period was one of those periods where we didn’t play hard enough in the ‘D’ zone, and the result of that [was] they managed to get a couple of goals on us,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said, “But once we started playing harder and managed the puck better, we played less time in our zone.”
The Bruins effort could certainly be seen in the second period. The Bruins outshot the Islanders 11-5.
In the final four minutes the Bruins were able to pull ahead. Center Joonas Kemppainen scored his first NHL goal, tying the game, and just 2 minutes later, Pastrnak scored the game winner.
Most of Boston’s success can be attributed to some sloppy plays by the Islanders. Kemppanien’s goal came off of a rebound. The go-ahead by Pasternak was a result of a loose puck in the slot.
“They came out in the second period and capitalized on our turnovers,” Islanders coach Jack Capuano said following the game. “You can’t turn the puck over in this league. There are too many skilled guys and they are going to take advantage of it, and that is what they did tonight.”
Boston sealed the deal late in the third with an empty net goal by David Krejci with just under 2 minutes remaining.
The Bruins had a few other reasons to celebrate on Friday night. Goaltender Jonas Gustavsson got to start for his 31st birthday. In addition to adding a win under his belt, the birthday boy made a respectable 23 saves.
Also, defenseman Zdeno Chara played his 1,200th NHL game. Coincidentally, he played his first NHL game with the New York Islanders on Nov. 19, 1997.
Boston will play their next game Tuesday night at home versus the Arizona Coyotes. The Islanders will play Saturday night against the St. Louis Blues in St. Louis.