UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- One could make a strong case that last season's version of the New York Islanders would have lost to the Boston Bruins on Thursday. After all, the Islanders lost 13 games in 2013-14 in which they led by two goals.
But Islanders general manager Garth Snow shored up the goaltending during the offseason and added defensemen Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk a week before the start of the season with hopes of getting his team back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Chad Johnson was one of Snow's signings when the free agent market opened July 1. The former Bruins goalie stopped 14 of 15 shots in the third period to help the Islanders hang on for a 3-2 win at TD Garden.
"It might, yeah. It might," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said when asked if it was a game the Islanders would have let slip away in years past. "But I think our guys know systematically and the framework of how we need to play, but at the same time you gotta defend hard. As I tell them, you don't want easy. Nothing easy is worth having. You just go out, you battle every day for each other and I think the hard work pays off. The one that hits the post maybe a year ago, it goes in. But the guys are working extremely hard, they're paying attention to detail and we need some puck luck along the way."