Marc Savard tweeted before the game that his "boys" Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic would have big nights. He may not be playing with them right now, but he certainly still has a connection with him as both put up big numbers in the Bruins 6-2 win over the New York Islanders on Monday.
The first line combined for four goals and four assists. Horton tallied two goals and an assist while Lucic added a goal and a helper himself. David Krejci (who Savard didn’t mention at all) also had one goal (the empty net goal in the third) and two assists.
But perhaps, most importantly for the team, they finally were able to give goaltender Tuukka Rask his first win of the season.
"We wanted to get this win for him. He works hard every day, it's not an easy job and he's positive," Bruins forward Gregory Campbell said. "He's a great goaltender and not too often you have two great goaltenders on one team battling for the same job so we have a lot of confidence in both of them. Tuukka's played well every time he's been in the net. We just haven't had the goals to support him so it was nice to get those goals and give him his first win."
Going into the third period, the Bruins held onto a 3-2 lead through the second period. Neither team had seen the back of the net in the second, and both benches seemed on edge and anxious to get that next goal.
As the Bruins have been doing so often as of late, they scored that goal. And another. And finally, the one to bury any hope the Islanders had at coming back.
It started less than five minutes into the third. Lucic and Seguin played a game of give-and-go in a two-on-one and Seguin faked shot, but passed it back to the crashing Lucic who gave the Bruins the 4-2 lead. Game play continued, but the Islanders still had a shot, and there was plenty of time left. But 46 seconds later, the frustration continued for the Isles and Horton took hold of the rebound of a Joe Corvo shot and made it 5-2.
Lucic’s goal extended his goal-scoring streak to four games, and he has seven goals in his last seven games.
Seguin also extended his point streak to four games, and Bergeron is now at a seven-game point streak.
It was Benoit Pouliot that started it off the Bruins though, just less than two minutes into the first frame. Taking the place of an injured Rich Peverley, Pouliot stuffed a puck past Evgeni Nabokov that linemate Jordan Caron threw at the net.
However, the Islanders responded almost immediately. Steve Staios fired a shot from the blueline, and it deflected off the stick of Matt Moulson, and over the pads of Tuukka Rask to tie the game at one a piece.
Both teams battled back and forth, but it was the Bruins that struck next. Nathan Horton found a puck off a rebound and skated through the slot. He found a rebound and snuck it over the glove of Nabokov for his third goal of the season, and to put the Bruins up 2-1.
Much like the Bruins did last game against the Maple Leafs, Tyler Seguin came out just 29 seconds later and netted another quick goal, giving the B’s a 3-1 lead in the first. The Islanders pulled Nabokov at that point after he only faced 12 shots and in came Al Montoya.
But, the Isles had the last hurrah in the first period, when Michael Grabner found a puck in the slot and put it home past Rask for his fourth goal of the season and bringing the Isles to within a goal, 3-2.
The second period was much of the same. Both teams had their opportunities, but neither was able to convert them. The Bruins second line of Marchand, Seguin and Bergeron continued to impress, nearly connecting with each other a number of times. One of the most impressive series of plays came with about 10:30 left in the period. Marchand and Seguin played a little give-and-go and just missed the net. Play continued and Marchand found Seguin out in front of the net and tried to pass it to him, but this time was stuffed by Montya. The Isles goaltender finished with 22 saves on 24 shots.
The Bruins now improve to 6-7-0 and are starting to take root in the conference and division. They have outscored their opponents 18-5 in their last three games and have coincidentally enough, gone 3-0-0 in that span. The B’s will look to continue and improve on Thursday, when they host the Edmonton Oilers.