New York Islanders vs. Boston Bruins
The Islanders look to have more success on road as they set out on three-game trip
Monday, 11.07.2011 / 12:00 AM / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
|Team Record: 4-5-2
Last Game: 5-3 W vs. WSH
Season Series: 0 of 4
|Team Record: 5-7-0
Last Game: 7-0 W vs. TOR
Season Series: 0 of 4
In an attempt to shake things up and find some scoring depth, Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano switched up the line combinations heading into Saturday night’s game against the Washington Capitals.
The change proved fruitful for Brian Rolston, Frans Nielsen and PA Parenteau. Their line combined for seven points as Nielsen scored the first goal to cut the goal differential in half and then he made a cross-ice pass for Rolston’s slap shot that tied the score. Parenteau scored the game-winner in the third.
“My goal wasn’t really a beautiful goal, but the puck found its way between (Tomas Vokoun’s) legs and when you can do small stuff like that, it gives you confidence,” Nielsen said. “Then Roli (Rolston) had another big goal and I think the whole team just got more confident. We played real well the last two periods.”
Parenteau is now second on the team’s scoring chart with two goals and a team-leading nine assists. Nielsen moved up to fourth on the scoring depth chart with three goals and three assists for six points.
"I think all the guys really enjoyed their new lines," Parenteau said. We had a little bit of a jam, we had a jump in our skating and who knows how long the lines are going to stay like this, but now we know that we have other lines that can work out. So we can go back to the old lines, but it’s all about confidence."
Seguin scored the first hat trick of his career in the Bruins 7-0 shutout bid over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night, earning the first star of the game.
Being part of a Stanley Cup Championship team his rookie campaign surely paid off. The sophomore centerman, the second overall NHL Entry Draft selection in 2010, is back and firing on all cylinders. Just 12 games into the season, the 19-year-old is already just eight points shy of his rookie totals of which he posted 11-11=22 totals in 74 games.
So far this season, his seven goals and seven assists are good for a team-leading 14 points.
Lucic also had a three point night on Saturday, scoring two goals and an assist. Now, in the first 12 games, the 6'4, 220-pound winger is currently second on the Bruins scoring, with six goals and five assists for 11 points and a +5 rating.
Known for his physical presence on the ice, this fifth-year pro showed the city of Boston that he's also capable of putting up big numbers. Still known for dropping the gloves, Lucic put up career-highs in nearly every category last season, posting 30-32=62 totals, a +28 rating, 5 power play goals and 7 game-winning goals in 79 games.
Confidence exuded from the locker room following Saturday night’s win over the Washington Capitals and continued into Sunday afternoon’s optional practice at Iceworks. Finding a way to score goals at even strength was paramount to the team’s success.
“We couldn’t find a way to score 5-on-5 for a few games and then we made some changes, everyone got a little boost out of it,” said PA Parenteau, who scored the game-winning goal. “I think that was great for our confidence, scoring some goals like that, playing good strong hockey against a really strong hockey team. I think that was really good for our team moving forward.”
But the sign of a winning team is more than the end result. The Islanders were resilient, bouncing back from a two-goal deficit.
“I’m proud of how we responded after trailing 2-0 against one of the best teams in the league,” Parenteau said. “I think that’s a sign that we are going to play pretty well on the road."
He continued, “It’s crazy what just one game can do, smiles in the locker room and everyone was happy to see each other. It changes the whole dynamic of the day when you’re winning, so hopefully we can keep this going.”
They’ll start a three-game road trip in Boston.
“We haven’t played very well on the road, but I think that game (Saturday) night is a great boost of confidence for the boys going in to Boston,” Parenteau said.
Season Series: This is the first of four meetings between the teams. Boston took three of the four matchups in 2010-11 and won the most recent meeting, a 3-2 decision on April 6 at TD Garden.
Big Story: The Bruins got off a slow start this season, but certainly showed plenty of life on Saturday night when they crushed the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 7-0 victory at the Air Canada Centre. Tyler Seguin had a hat trick for Boston, while Tim Thomas stopped all 25 shots he faced for the shutout.
"I was a Leaf fan growing up all my life … I can't lie about that," Seguin said. "To get a hat trick against them is something pretty cool."
Islanders: After watching his team get shut out on home ice by the Winnipeg Jets, Isles coach Jack Capuano knew he had to shake things up. Capuano shuffled his lines prior to Saturday's game against the Washington Capitals, and the end result was New York's first victory in three weeks as Frans Nielsen and PA Parenteau each had a goal and two assists in a 5-3 win at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. (Continue Reading)
Michael Grabner scored two special teams goals in the Isles 3-2 loss to the Bruins last April. His first, scored on the power play, tied the score 3:24 into the second after Shawn Thornton gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead with one second remaining in the first period. Denis Seidenberg recaptured the Bruins lead and Gregory Campbell increased the goal differential to two. Grabner scored his second goal of the night while the Isles were shorthanded, but his two-goal night wouldn’t be enough to lead the Isles to victory.
|- Mark Katic - Shoulder (9/24 vs. NJ) - 11 games missed (Out indefinitely)
- Rhett Rakhshani - Concussion (9/27 at CGY) - 11 games missed (Out indefinitely)
IslandersPower Play %: 18.4%
Penalty Kill %: 84.6%
Home Record: 4-3-1
Road Record: 0-2-1
Goals For: 23
Goals Against: 29
BruinsPower Play %: 14.6%
Penalty Kill %: 87.5%
Home Record: 3-5-0
Road Record: 2-2-0
Goals For: 34
Goals Against: 28
(Answer from 11/05: 30. The Islanders have only played more playoff games against archrival NY Rangers. However, if you count the three full overtimes in the “Easter Epic” the two teams have played 31 playoff games against each other.)
Check out the Islanders depth chart for tonight's game against the Bruins. Evgeni Nabokov gets the start, Al Montoya backs up, Mike Mottau is the healthy scratch.
Bruins (Expected) LineupsForwards: Lucic-Krejci-Horton, Marchand-Bergeron-Seguin, Caron-Kelly-Pouliot, Paille-Campbell-Thornton
Defensemen: Chara-Boychuk, Seidenberg-Corvo, Ference-McQuaid
Goaltenders: Thomas, Rask
Expected Scratches: Kampfer, Peverly
Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano took one major positive out of Saturday night's win: "The fact that the bench was real positive, even when it was 2-0. We know that we’re going to face adversity throughout the year, so when it got to be 2-0, we stayed positive. We talked about it between first and the second and they battled. That’s the one thing that this team, the leadership that we have and the way that they battle. We came back against that team, a very explosive and good team, so that’s the one thing I took out of it, the character and the makeup of our team."