Evgeni Nabokov made 30 saves and Casey Cizikas scored his second goal of the season, but the New York Islanders fell 4-1 to the Boston Bruins Tuesday at Nassau Coliseum. The loss is the Islanders second straight to open their seven-game home stand, dropping them to 8-11-1 (17 points) overall.
The Islanders registered 37 shots on goal and out-hit a physical Bruins team 21-16, but Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask made 36 saves, while Adam McQuaid, Brad Marchand, David Krejci and Gregory Campbell scored for Boston.
“We competed hard,” Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano said. “That’s one of the best teams that we’re going to play and I give our guys credit. We did a lot of good things. A couple breakdowns cost us some goals. We were in the penalty box for a while in the second period.“
The Bruins scored first on McQuaid’s first tally of the season at the 6:43 mark. The defenseman’s low slap shot from the right point escaped Nabokov and trickled over the goal line. Tyler Seguin and Patrice Bergeron earned assists on the play.
The Islanders tied the game at one later in the period on a play in transition. Josh Bailey entered the Bruins zone, stickhandled around a Boston defenseman and slid a pass to Casey Cizikas, who chipped it over Rask at 15:49. Andrew MacDonald was credited with the secondary helper on the goal.
“A-Mac flipped it out of the zone and I got it with speed,” Bailey said. “I just went around the guy and put the puck in front to Casey, and then he made a great play. His defender was all over him and he found a way to get a stick on it and put it in.”
The Bruins took the lead early in the second period and would not let go. Brad Marchand scooped up a rebound off an Andrew Ference shot and backhanded it over a sprawling Nabokov just 38 seconds into the middle frame.
Five minutes later, the Bruins extended their lead to 3-1 on David Krejci’s fifth marker of the season. Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic set up Krejci in the left circle, who shot the puck top shelf as Nabokov couldn’t get to the post quick enough.
The Islanders managed 26 shots over the final two periods of play, but could not chip away at Boston’s lead. New York’s power play went 0-for-3 against the top penalty killing team in the league, mustering five shots on the man advantage. The Bruins’ Gregory Campbell scored into an empty net with 1:05 remaining in regulation to finish the scoring at 4-1.
“We just have to keep pushing forward,” Bailey said. “It’s pretty easy to get down on yourselves and frustrated, like we are, but we have to find a way to come to the rink tomorrow and put this loss behind us and look forward to the next game.”
The Islanders continue their home stand Thursday when the Toronto Maple Leafs make their first visit of the season to Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders won the previous matchup 7-4 in Toronto on Jan. 24. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m.
Notes: The Islanders penalty kill went 4-for-4, allowing six shots on goal … Defenseman Andrew MacDonald led the team with 23:50 of ice time and three blocked shots … The Islanders lost the faceoff battle 36-27 … Matt Martin posted six hits for the third straight game, leading all players for the fifth straight game in that category.
New York Islanders
60 Kevin Poulin
17 Milan Lucic - 46 David Krejci - 18 Nathan Horton
63 Brad Marchand - 37 Patrice Bergeron - 19 Tyler Seguin
48 Chris Bourque - 23 Chris Kelly - 49 Rich Peverley
20 Daniel Paille - 11 Gregory Campbell - 22 Shawn Thornton
33 Zdeno Chara - 55 Johnny Boychuk
44 Dennis Seidenberg - 27 Dougie Hamilton
21 Andrew Ference - 54 Adam McQuaid
40 Tuukka Rask
35 Anton Khudobin