The Bruins continued their superb play away from home by jumping out to a 3-0 lead and riding a 34-save performance by Tuukka Rask to a 6-3 victory against the New York Islanders on Thursday night in the opener of a six-game road trip.
The Bruins had lost their last three games, including a 4-3 come-from-ahead loss to Toronto on Tuesday. They came out flying against the improved Islanders, scoring three times in the first period while outshooting New York 15-4, and improved to 17-7-4 on the road.
"I think the biggest thing tonight was to win," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "We needed a win to get ourselves back on track."
Blake Wheeler opened the scoring with his ninth goal 1:52 into the game on a stoppable sharp-angle shot that beat Nathan Lawson. The Bruins made it 2-0 at 7:03 when Patrice Bergeron's pass deflected off Mark Recchi's skate and into the net; the goal withstood a video review. It was Recchi's 574th goal, moving him into 19th place on the NHL's career list past Isles Hall of Famer Mike Bossy.
Campbell's point shot clipped an Islanders stick and sailed past Lawson at 9:04 to make it 3-0 -- and the Bruins missed several more chances before the period ended.
"I really liked our first period. I thought we were right on top of our game," Julien said. "I think offensively we did some really good things. But defensively, again, I think we had some lapses and those are the things we are trying to correct here."
Boston picked up right where it left off when David Krejci beat Lawson with a wrister 55 seconds into the second period.
"We were doing nothing that we normally do," Isles interim coach Jack Capuano said. "For whatever reason we didn't come out focused or ready to play."
Josh Bailey scored for the second time in as many games at 5:38. However, Rask was perfect for the rest of the period -- withstanding a 22-shot barrage in the middle 20 minutes. Milan Lucic made it a 6-2 game with a power-play at 7:27, beating backup Al Montoya.
"You don't want to play the score, you just try to focus on your game and stopping every puck," Rask said of being staked to a big lead. "At the end of the day, you just want to stop every puck, no matter what."
The Islanders kept firing away in the third period, but the only shot to get past Rask was a rebound by Tavares with 7:03 remaining.
"When you get down three goals against the Boston Bruins, you're chances of coming back are not very good," Tavares said. "We came out slow, we didn't play our game and we weren't moving our feet. If we keep that mentality with all the shots we had in the last two periods, we're going to keep scoring goals. We just have to be better in our own zone."
New York rookie Michael Grabner, the NHL's First Star last week, had a couple of good chances but couldn't beat Rask and had his six-game goal-scoring streak snapped.
Capuano took some small solace from his team's play in final two periods.
"When we play the way that we're supposed to, we're a pretty good team," Capuano said. "To me, that's one of the better hockey teams, one of the better-coached teams, systematically strong structured. I thought in the second and third periods we did a lot of good things. We had success when we did those little things."
The Bruins go for back-to-back wins when they visit Ottawa on Friday night.
"This is a step in the right direction," Julien said, "and hopefully we can keep working on that and get better."
Material from team broadcast and online media and wire services was used in this report
|Blake Wheeler (11) ASST: Tyler Seguin (10), Andrew Ference (8)|
1 - 0 BOS
|Mark Recchi (11) ASST: Patrice Bergeron (27), Johnny Boychuk (9)|
2 - 0 BOS
|Gregory Campbell (9) ASST: NONE|
3 - 0 BOS
|David Krejci (9) ASST: Nathan Horton (22), Milan Lucic (16)|
4 - 0 BOS
|John Tavares (22) ASST: Blake Comeau (18)|
4 - 1 BOS
|Tyler Seguin (10) ASST: Shawn Thornton (7), Blake Wheeler (16)|
5 - 1 BOS
|Josh Bailey (8) ASST: Blake Comeau (19), Radek Martinek (8)|
5 - 2 BOS
|PPG - Milan Lucic (24) ASST: David Krejci (32), Zdeno Chara (21)|
6 - 2 BOS
|John Tavares (23) ASST: Jack Hillen (9), Matt Moulson (15)|
6 - 3 BOS
|Zenon Konopka Fighting (maj) against Adam McQuaid|
|Adam McQuaid Fighting (maj) against Zenon Konopka|
|Zenon Konopka Unsportsmanlike conduct|
|Micheal Haley Misconduct (10 min)|
|Rob Schremp Too many men/ice - bench|
|Dennis Seidenberg Tripping against Rob Schremp|