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Bruins fall to Isles, 7-2, in second rookie game

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
UNIONDALE, NY - Concluding a two-game set of rookie games, the Islanders topped the Bruins 7-2 Tuesday night at the Nassau Coliseum after Boston had taken an 8-5 win one night earlier.

2010 fourth-round pick Craig Cunningham and 2011 third-rounder Anthony Camara had Boston's two goals, both scored in the third period.  Anders Nilsson went the distance with 38 saves for New York, while 2011 first round pick Ryan Strome had two goals and an assist.

An early burst of scraps and two quick goals by the Islanders flavored the first half of period 1, where Boston was out-shot by New York 16-7 while falling behind 4-0 on Strome's goals, plus two more from Tyler McNeely and Casey Cizikas.

"Unfortunately it didn’t work out for us, but I thought after that the last two periods the guys kept playing," said Boston rookies coach Bruce Cassidy.  "They played hard and it was a pretty easy game after that. And I like they way they responded early to the tough stuff because we are a young group and all these guys are kids and they are fighting men, so good for them, they held their own."

A big glove save by Bruins starter Michael Hutchinson on Nino Niederreiter with just over 9:00 to go in the first period helped the Bruins turn the play around for a spell after falling behind 2-0.  But Strome picked the corner for his second of the game with 5:31 left in the first and the Isles' rookies took off from there.

After scoring three power play goals a night earlier, the Bruins could not capitalize on any of their six chances in the rematch, largely due to the work of Nilsson, who made a great sliding save on Ryan Spooner at the left post during a Boston power play with 18:36 left in the second period.

"We skated this morning and did a little structure work, and maybe on another day we wouldn’t have, so I don’t want to give the guys an excuse but I think it showed early," added Cassidy.  "That was one of the reasons we were off to a slow start."

With all the power plays, including a second-period 5-on-3 in which seven shots were fired, Boston ended up out-shooting the Islanders, 40-39.

Jared DeMichiel replaced Hutchinson in net for the third period and stopped 10 of 11 shots, including a unreal high glove stop on Kirill Kabonov's breakaway chance. 

Cunningham got the Bruins on the board with a wicked rising wrister past Nilsson 5:02 into the third with Boston down 7-0.  Cunningham later zipped down the left wing with a nifty inside-outside move and shot that helped set up Camara's goal at 18:42.

Things were chippy from the outset, as three scraps broke out before the game was five seconds old.  McNeely got the scoring started for New York 6:01 later.

Nino Niederreiter, selected fifth overall by the Isles in the 2010 Entry Draft, recorded a power play goal and three assists to continue his strong play over the two rookie games between the clubs.

Over the course of the two games, the Islanders and Bruins combined for 22 goals.
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